Have you seen random fake dollar bills glued to city sidewalks downtown? Apparently, they’re part of a new ad campaign from San Francisco-based online game developer Zynga to promote their new game “Mafia Wars.” The stunt started in San Francisco, where a steam cleaner had to be brought in to get the mess off the street at 45 minutes per each “campaign spot.” (Didn’t we learn not to “play with glue” back in third grade?)
Upon seeing the stickers on our side of the U.S., Ken, who runs East Village Feed, sent an email and Tweets to Zynga’s CEO and PR rep to see what would be done to remove the stickers, and continued to bug the powers-that-be for an answer. Which worked!
As of today, Zynga’s agency, Davis Elen, responded and agreed to clean up the campaign within a week.
Thanks, East Village Feed, and everyone else who helped make this happen.
Note to others: If you’d like to deface the streets, please try to make your effort amusing or have some kind of aesthetic value. It’s not so much the defacing as it is the outright corporate bullshit/soul-suckiness of the campaign that, we dare say, is the problem. After all, graffiti lives quite harmoniously among East Villagers. We’re not that judgy, until you try to sell us something.
Also, as Matt Dorsey, spokesman at San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office, points out,
While the company will have to pay a fine, both the game and the marketing campaign have gotten tons of free press. “It gnaws on me knowing that some marketing guy is laughing, knowing that I am writing press on this,” Dorsey said.
So let’s all forget about this ugly episode once the streets are clean and go back to things far more productive and healthy than solitary online gaming. Like, social binge drinking!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 26, 2010