In one of the more inane attempts at viral marketing, a man in New Zealand was almost shot by police as he roamed the streets of Auckland scaring the bejeezus out of bystanders with his toy gun.
It was all a stunt to promote the New Zealand release of Splinter Cell Conviction, the latest in the Tom Clancy-approved series of Splinter Cell games from Ubisoft.
In the game, you play as Sam Fisher, a disgraced former NSA secret agent who lurks in the shadows and specializes in performing spot-on headshots on whatever unlucky evil goon gets between him and his target.
So the marketing company hired to promote the game thought that sending a dude covered in bandages and brandishing a fake weapon into Auckland’s popular Viaduct Basin area would be a good idea. It wasn’t.
According to reports, over two dozen people contacted the police after spotting the stunt. The cops arrived and quickly drew their real guns on the man with the fake one.
“It was just marketing gone wrong,” said a rep for the marketing company in what could be categorized as a huge understatement. The company also claims that they subcontracted out this stunt to another marketer and that they were unaware a gun would be used.