Anent our recent discussion of PR-driven “news”, here’s an interesting specimen: three photos, with captions, from Snapple’s attempt yesterday to break the world’s record for largest ice pop. This event took place in Union Square, just a few blocks south of Tor.Here’s one of Snapple’s suggested captions:
Didn’t break the world’s record? That’s one way to put it. Reading that, you’d never guess how much wilder the real story was. As our mailroom guy Mike put it, “When I saw all those engines I thought it was a huge fire, but it was just a popsicle.”
Today, Snapple and CoolBrands International launched new Snapple on Ice pops with an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest ice pop. Even though the 35,000 pound, 24 foot tall ice pop didn’t break the world record, New Yorkers had a great time kicking off the first day of summer.
Under the noontime sun of New York’s first day of summer, Snapple, the soft drink maker, answered the question of whether a 17-1/2-ton Popsicle can be made to stand upright in Union Square.
In a brave attempt to surpass a Guinness record—“The World’s Largest Popsicle”—Snapple mixed and froze a gargantuan icy doppelganger of its new kiwi-strawberry flavored Snapple on Ice. Then the frozen treat was hauled by freezer truck from Edison, N.J., and raised with an enormous crane in Manhattan.Alas, like James Arness in the 1951 alien thriller “The Thing From Another World,” the giant Snapsicle began to melt. Soon pedestrians were fleeing in not-quite terror, fire trucks were converging, and the police were closing off streets to contain the publicity stunt gone wrong.
From the Daily News:
“A small wave of slush began moving across 17th Street,” said Ken Giddon, the president of Rothman’s, a clothing store on the square, who was watching from a perch of relative safety on the sidewalk. Asked what it looked like, he responded, “the red tide.”
“It wasn’t a bad smell. But the people stepping in it were not pleased,” Giddon added. “People were pretty bummed out with what was going on with their shoes.”
It took the Fire Department 45 minutes to hose away the mess.
Bicyclists wiped out in the stream of goo. Pedestrians slipped. Traffic was, well, frozen.
Snapple officials had hoped to get in the Guinness Book of World Records and promote their new line of ice treats.
Instead, New Yorkers got a first-of-its-kind, first-day-of-summer mess.
“It was a big boo-boo,” said Kizzy Vazquez, 28, of Manhattan, as she watched the mammoth pink pop ooze while someone with a sick sense of humor blasted “Cruel Summer” over a sound system. “They should have had that [up] before the sun came out.”Firefighters hosed down E. 17th St. between Union Square East and West, and about 100 yards of Park Ave. South, rinsing away a thick, sweet slime.
So, Snapple, New Yorkers had a great time kicking off the summer? Sort of. In a New Yorkish “oh yeah, giant popsicle gone wrong” kind of way. Except for the ones whose shoes were messed up, and the pedestrians and bicyclists who slipped in the muck, and the drivers caught in the traffic jam; but hey, next time there’s a giant popsicle meltdown it’ll be somebody else’s turn, so it all evens out in the end.* Otherwise, it was a complete hoot—just not the sort Snapple had in mind.