Is there a such a thing as going too far?

07 May 2007

Presently, the media landscape is extremely crowded and getting through the noise of competitors requires your message to be delivered in a way that is creative, thoughtful, and original. Enter a classic rock radio station located in Ottawa, Canada called CHEZ 106 who just last week had one of their on-air personalities, called Eric “The Intern”, promote a local charity fundraiser. Now that does not seem all that exciting, I mean there are literally dozens of charity runs, walks, bingo nights in any given week all across Canada, so getting the message out about your particular event is a challenge. However what occurred during the already zany stunt has propelled the event to gain even more notoriety. CHEZ’s website describes what went down on Thursday…

“Eric the Intern-dramatic police takedown!!!

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Thursday morning, while bravely conducting a solitary run for CHEO through the gritty streets of Ottawa, Eric the Intern was surrounded by a posse of Ottawa police officers. Dressed in only a green hospital smock, he had apparently been mistaken for a disheveled, overweight escaped lunatic on the loose by terrified Ottawa residents. When they saw the frightening apparition run past their windows, they quickly pulled their blinds shut and called police. Officers quietly tracked his movements for many blocks, before a battalion of cruisers surrounded him and officers demanded answers as to just what in the name of $#@&* he was doing. It was only after CHEZ’s promo team intervened with a senior officer on his behalf, that Eric was let go with a stern warning. This must never happen again. At least not this week.”

Please take a look at the video of what happened.

Is there such a thing as going too far to promote an event?? The fact that CHEZ 106 is receiving so much attention for this wacky mishap begs this question. Time after time it seems the more obscene or crazy your stunt is, the more media coverage your client will receive. Look for me in the near future to pogo-stick around Ottawa without a shirt on and have H&K painted on my back in order to attract business.

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