Watch_Dogs Marketing Campaign Causes Bomb Squad to be Called

Watch_Dogs Marketing Campaign Causes Bomb Squad to be Called

Video game marketing campaigns are getting a bit too real for my tastes. A recent Ubisoft market stunt for Watch_Dogs involved sending journalists a black safe and black note which says “check your voicemail.” The idea was that each reporter would check their voice mail and would be alerted to the fact that a copy of Watch_Dogs was sent to their office.

Unfortunately, this all went wrong when the black safe and note combo was sent to ninemsn, an Australian publication which does not normally cover video games. The reporter it was sent to did not use voicemail, so they could not be alerted to the identity of the package. When the reporter went to open the safe it began to beep, and obviously this caused a bit of a freakout. The staff reached out to other local news publications to see if they were sent something similar, but none had. As a result, they called the police.

And it just escalated from there. The floor was evacuated, a bomb squad came to the scene, the package was scanned, and then was broken open in the basement of the building. Of course, all they found was a video game, and a lot of wasted time and money.

“Our team in Australia sent voicemail messages to some local media alerting them that they’d receive a special package related to the game,” Ubisoft said in a statement issued to Polygon. “Unfortunately, the delivery to Ninemsn didn’t go as planned, and we unreservedly apologise to Ninemsn’s staff for the mistake and for any problems caused as a result. We will take additional precautions in the future to ensure this kind of situation doesn’t happen again.”

“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,” Ninemsn editor Hal Crawford told Mumbrella. “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.”

Watch_Dogs launched yesterday on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. The Wii U version is still incoming. Watch_Dogs is actually notorious for keeping its game details a secret and having very few playable demos available to the public. I suppose a game wrapped in so much mystery also need a mysterious marketing campaign.

Source: Polygon , Mumbrella

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