In an excellent example of guerrilla marketing, a die-hard It fan decided to promote the film and scared off an entire police force in the process.
According to Mashable, officers in Lititz, PA, encountered red balloons tied to sewer grates. Those familiar with the original TV miniseries or the Steven King novel will recognize the foreboding warning, which is definitely not an everyday occurrence in small-town America.
Pennywise, the murderous clown in It, used red balloons to lure children into his clutches. While there were no missing kids reported in Lititz, the police department did post photos of the red balloons to Facebook, giving some kudos to whoever came up with the idea before tempering the praise with a somewhat-stern request: Don't do it again.
"We give points for creativity, however we want the local prankster to know that we were completely terrified as we removed these balloons from the grates and we respectfully request they do not do that again," the police department wrote on Facebook.
The Lititz incident may be a case of copycat pranking, however. Mashable reported on similar marketing tactics being employed in Australia, though those balloons came with official-looking messages reading, "It is closer than you think. #ItMovie in cinemas September 7."
The Lititz Police Department found its balloons without any clear message, but they did follow up their initial Facebook post with something a little more lighthearted.
"Now due to widespread media coverage all over the country and intense public scrutiny and outcry, we have turned the investigation over to our Criminal Investigations Division for further investigation and prosecution of the person(s), errr ah, 'thing' responsible," the department wrote. Alongside the post, they staged a faux fingerprinting, complete with clown wig. It's nice to see a police force with a sense of humor, but if there's a red balloon tied to a sewer anywhere near us, we're calling the cops for real.
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