11. Homefront - Red Balloons
How would you go about PR for the frankly disappointing Homefront?
Hold press events? Release special edition versions? Maybe just invest in more ad space? Well, the company TrashTalkFCM who was hired by THQ, had another idea. They would release hundreds of red balloons over San Francisco, the city where Homefront is set.
This was not a well thought out idea, however, as there is one guaranteed impact of letting balloons go, that they will once again come back down. I’m sure they had an idea that they would land in interesting places such as the top of buildings and lead to the public interest they desired, however, a majority of them just came down into the San Francisco Bay.
The city, of course, lodged a complaint about this.
THQ first defended the idea of the balloons by assuring people that they were 100% biodegradable, but this was not the problem. The problem was that these balloons presented a danger to wildlife and the local ecosystem.
THQ did not defend this point, and quietly paid around $7,000 in fines.
This bad press did not have any impact on sales of the game though, because reviews did that instead.