Ninemsn Receives Anonymous Black Safe With Timer; Bomb Squad Arrives, Finds Watch_Dogs Inside
We've all seen the video promoting Watch Dogs with the cell phone app that can turn out street lights and change traffic signals. If you haven't, you should watch it here. It gives you a solid idea of what the game is about with only a brief and simple trick.
Promotions like this can be a pretty neat way to build interest for your new product, but how far is too far? Apparently, part of the Watch Dogs promotion sent a black safe to the Ninemsn offices. The instructions led the office staff to believe that they were supposed to enter a code found taped to the safe onto the keypad. It immediately began to beep and led the staff to believe that they might have an explosive.
A bomb squad was sent in and they opened the box in the office basement to find a baseball cap, a beanie, oh, and a copy of Watch_Dogs. Ninemsn editor Hal Crawford said,
This is definitely the other side of the line in terms of what it's safe for a PR company to send anonymously to a newsroom. The thing was black, heavy and slightly creepy. We did check with other newsrooms to see if they had received a similar package as we thought it was a PR stunt, but no one else had. We weren't panicked at any point, but given there was no note explaining what it was, we had to take sensible precautions.
While this could have just been a well-meaning PR stunt, the issue is that timers usually get associated with bombs when the reason is unknown.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, but this could cause a little havoc on the company. Staff were sent home just in case. While it wasn't worse, a productive day at work was surely lost for Ninemsn and a bomb squad spent their time on opening a safe with a couple of hats and a game in it.
Even if they do have to pay fines for getting the bomb squad called out, surely they won't mind the headlines.