A couple years ago, Halloween season was dominated by the mysterious sightings of creepy clowns hanging out on dark city streets across the nation. It was a major deal as the national news networks ran numerous stories regarding evil clowns during that terrifying October of 2016. Of course I wrote extensively about it, and, if you know me, I wasn’t as scared as everyone else.
Perhaps that is why I am…how shall I put this…intrigued by a marketing promotion offered by a donut franchise. While browsing Facebook, I found out that Hurts Donuts, a company known for making “really, really, really freaking good donuts” is also trying to make people really, really, really freaking scared.
During this month, customers have been allowed to place delivery orders with a certain sadistic twist. Patrons of Hurts Donuts can pay a little extra to have donuts delivered to a “friend” by a clown that looks like it came out of the movie “IT.” The clown will approach the recipient and if he/she has not fainted, the demented character will hand over a box of a dozen donuts. Hurts locations are in 19 cities and every store is participating in the promotion.
In my opinion, I think it is a great marketing tactic. In fact, it has already proved wildly successful judging by the national publicity the stunt has received. Would I like to have donuts delivered to me by a gory, unsavory creature? You bet! I love that type of stuff.
But what about the people who wouldn’t like it (like my wife)? Do I think the promotion is ethical? Well, that might be up for debate.
I would like to think that the people who order these deliveries do so knowing that whoever their “victim” is will ultimately be able to handle it. In all seriousness, it isn’t funny to unmercifully scare someone. Sending someone into a panic attack for your own personal enjoyment is sicker than the most grotesque evil clown that Hurts could ever send.
Even if the recipient isn’t petrified of clowns and can stomach a unique prank, I would still have a concern. What about the non-recipients who will still be exposed to the sight of a hellish looking clown delivering a box of donuts? What if kids are around? It is one thing to pass judgment on whether a friend can handle something but it is an entirely different thing to not take into consideration who else the gimmick could impact.
I hope to see some type of a recap on how this scary surprise played out. If Hurts was smart, they would have accumulated plenty of video coverage with the different deliveries that took place over the past several weeks. Did people freak out? Did they laugh? Most importantly, was it contained? Although a whole swarm of creepy clowns is welcome to deliver donuts to me at any time (just as long as each clown has his own box), it is the absolute last thing that many other people would want. Don’t Blink.