Activist sites and hate sites are familiar online threats for major brands (see When search engines attack: Victoria’s Secret from a couple of weeks ago). Some efforts though are more mocking and more subtle and potentially the more powerful for it.
For instance, Halliburton – Dick Cheney’s other outfit – has the new must-have for strategic planners thinking about contingency planning. When you’ve decided where the emergency news room will be and who gets to run the show when the lights go out at HQ, have a word with Halliburton and they will kit your spokespeople and key personnel out with SurvivaBalls.
The devices – looking like huge inflatable orbs – will include sophisticated communications systems, nutrient gathering capacities, onboard medical facilities, and a daunting defense infrastructure to ensure that the corporate mission will not go unfulfilled even when most human life is rendered impossible by catastrophes or the consequent epidemics and armed conflicts.
And when you’ve survived a super-hurricane or flood – what then?
"Much as amoebas link up into slime molds when threatened, SurvivaBalls also fulfill a community function. After all, people need people," noted Goody as he showed an artist’s rendition of numerous SurvivaBalls linking up to form a managerial aggregate with functional differentiation, metaphorically dancing through the streets of Houston, Texas.
But seriously folks, this is the Onion with several layers on top. A whole spoof website for Halliburton Contracts comes replete with the announcement of a Lexis Nexis conference with its own mock site deftly using a third party brand to add credibility.