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Viral marketing strikes again. Gotta love this stuff.

I was on an 'L' train in Chicago recently, and saw all these weird ads about some guy who had supposedly been kidnapped. Turned out to be some viral marketing thing to try and get people to - get this - visit St. Louis.[1]

Gotta hand it to 'em, some of these initiatives are pretty clever.

Although it would be funnier if it turned out that the "homeless guy" was somebody doing some LARP / ARG shyte and just handed the note and the 50 to the wrong guy.

[1]: https://lonelybrand.com/blog/kidnapped-chicagoan-campaign-se...




This is certainly some sort of viral marketing but the whole real-world aspect of it was almost surely made up.

I doubt any homeless man or $50 was involved, that's just to goose the curiosity level.


Good point. That thought had crossed my mind as well, when I started asking myself "what are the chances that this happens to some random guy, who just happens to be a Redditor?" In any case though, it's a neat gimmick and will probably stir up a lot of attention for somebody.


Being a redditor isn't exactly an exclusive club, and it wouldn't be too hard to profile a reddit user based on appearance and geographical location. Google's DoubleClick says 72% of the userbase is male 25-24 years old, some college education, low income bracket (unemployed/students), and technology oriented (Alexa adds that they're mostly Caucasian as well). Reddit has millions of users. Going with that information, finding a redditor in NYC or San Fransisco wouldn't exactly be an impossibly small chance.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit#Demographics


Being a redditor isn't exactly an exclusive club, and it wouldn't be too hard to profile a reddit user based on appearance and geographical location.

True, totally true. And if you went out trying to solicit a Reddit user from a crowd, talking to multiple people along the way, then yeah, I'd say you could find a Redditor almost anywhere.

But the chances of picking somebody out of a crowd, based on what, just skin color and maybe attire, and just happening on a Redditor? And one who would immediately run to Reddit and post this (to multiple reddits as well, apparently)? That doesn't strike me as likely, which is why I am now tending to agree with the idea that the "homeless guy" and the $50 never existed and that none of that stuff ever happened at all. The Reddit OP is probably the person behind (or an employee of the agency behind) the whole thing, IMO.


That or a lot of NYC twentysomethings got $50 richer.


totally OT, but you should visit st louis. it's home to the city museum (http://www.citymuseum.org/site/), which is in fact the best place on earth.


Loved the Gateway Arch - it's stunning. Museum underneath it is worth a look too. Also quite enjoyed some retro ten-pin bowling lanes: http://www.saratogalanes.com/

The Bud tour is a bit weak if you've toured the Budvar facility in the Czech Republic.

Wish we'd known about the City Museum.


On the other hand, I live in St. Louis and I'm pretty tired of people telling out-of-towners that it's the best thing about the city, so feel free to return to your regularly scheduled zingers about flyover country. We're simple folk. We won't mind.


You had a 16oz veal chop. Despite the lack of a good time I had in STL, I'll always remember it fondly :)


hah, i'm not trying to take anything away from the rest of the city, cause it's a nice place, but i've made two separate road trips from atlanta (9 hrs each way) with 14 people just for the city museum.




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