How This Philips Viral Ad Led to a Gun-Toting Bear Hunt

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There's nothing a marketing department loves more than a viral campaign. Millions of impressions! All that BUZZ! But what happens when authorities think your video of a bear just chilling on a street corner is real? Men with guns happen.

The video above—which was somehow, some way intended to get people to buy a specific brand of razor—is just a guy in a bear suit going through garbage. Most people, rightly, dismissed it as a hoax. But officials at the nearby Singaporean zoo were concerned about it enough to send a team of a dozen men armed with tranquilizer guns to the street corner. Four police officers showed up at the offices of the news website that first reported the video. And a local animal rights group jumped in as well.

Philips was appropriately apologetic, but assuming it's true that there's no such thing as bad publicity, they must be happier than Yogi with a pic-a-nic basket. Especially since the worst they can be charged with is a public nuisance violation, which carries with it a whopping $750 fine. Presumably that's less than the cost of the bear suit. [AFP]