Photo: letstalkwill on YouTube

By now you might have heard about the guerrilla marketing stunt that Bay Area folks thought went over like 10,000 red balloons.

Just that amount of just those things were released by a Southern California video-game company yesterday, part of a promotion for a game based on the highly likely premise of North Korean troops invading the U.S.

Thousands of the balloons, released into the wild from Yerba Buena Gardens, headed straight for the bay, disconcerting environmentalists and other people fed up with cutting-edge marketing tactics that also verge on the mildly sociopathic. (See here and here and here.)

From today’s Chronicle:

“When I looked out the window and saw thousands of balloons dropping straight into the bay, I was flabbergasted,” said Rod Fujita, a senior oceans scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund. “I never expected to see something like this in San Francisco, where there’s such concern about the bay and pollution.”

Still, the entire event made for some arrestingly forlorn visuals on a gray, rainy day:


KGO video report:


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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