Convar Deutschland thought they had cooked up an exciting way to attract new clients, when they began gluing hard drives to alarm clocks and sending them to companies with a note reading, “Your time is running out.”

They sent out a total of 40 “time bombs” to businesses, shops, a handful of embassies and even the offices of a newspaper group.

But instead of drumming up custom, the stunt caused mayhem as terrified recipients called the police and prompted building evacuations, Berlin paper Tagesspiegel reported…

In what was perhaps an overestimation on Convar’s behalf about how well known they were, the Rhineland-Palatinate company thought that the idea would be perfect for promoting their speciality – data recovery. They hadn’t reckoned with panic that ensued, which saw police units being called to suspected letter bombs in cities across the country including Bonn, Berlin and Frankfurt…

Providing instant employment for forty lawyers.

Thanks, Ursarodina



  1. Davis says:

    I’m not sure it was that dumb. It succeeded in having the entire country of Germany discover who they are and what they actually do. Plus, they also got some worldwide press out of the deal.

    It would be interesting to learn what they would have to pay in legal fees vs what that level of publicity would cost through a traditional advertising campaign

    • ± says:

       
      ***It succeeded in having the entire country of Germany discover who they are and what they actually do.***

      Astounding inference!

      Ya know, those Germans don’t know when they are beat. We’re going to have to fight them again some day.

       

  2. The DON says:

    I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the ‘promotion’ meeting that produced this idea

  3. jpfitz says:

    The video of their repair operation begins with some towers on fire.
    Shipping fake explosives to remind us all how fragile our data storage can be is diabolical and Verrrry interesting, but…stupid.

    Great P.R. stunt.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=GjmXSaLX8Gc&src_vid=Mlvnhz-TezQ&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_760948

  4. jpfitz says:

    Good find Ursarodina.

  5. dcphill says:

    Sometimes, any publicity is good publicity.

    • deowll says:

      Even if you end up in jail?

      • mharry860 says:

        Exactly. People wrote books about killing Bush. If I send a middle finger to Obama the SS will show up.

        • Grey Bird says:

          well, at least the police would show up to find out where the finger you mailed to the President came from. ;-)

        • ugly, constipated, and mean says:

          Can you give examples? Maybe a link to those books on amazon? Otherwise I’m calling shenanigans.

  6. Zybch says:

    How could anyone have thought this would be a good idea in the current nanny-state-keep-everyone-scared climate?
    I personally think its damn funny, but we all know what most other sheeple will think given the constant diet of terror related bullshit since 9-11.

  7. sargasso_c says:

    I don’t get it?!

  8. Dudesku says:

    Oh c’mon, that’s kinda cool and clever.. =P Shame on the hysterical idiots who didn’t, I donno, google the company name or something before going all apeshit. =\

  9. Well, that blew up in their face. ;0/

  10. MWD78 says:

    reminds me of the panic that the ATHF movie promo stunt caused.

  11. chris says:

    Reminds me of a 30 Rock episode where the receptionist sends out letters with (I forget exactly) something like ‘happy glitter’ so people will know how happy the show is for fan letters. One of the writers deadpans “so you’ve been sending out letters with white powder, what could go wrong with that?”

    Bam! Swat team busts in. LMFAO!

  12. Fever says:

    Yeah, some marketing stunts backfire…

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=ST01bZJPuE0&feature=related

  13. Rick says:

    The best viral marketing ever…sending packets of anthrax.

  14. MartinJJ says:

    Besides a not so smart promotion campagne for their data recovery program, they also tell you their harddrives are basically timebombes waiting to fail on you. They still sell those?