If you’ve ever had a printer break down on you mid-project, or watched helplessly as your ultra-expensive laptop crashed, effectively rendering all of your precious files nonexistent, you’ve likely felt as though you shelled out a ridiculous amount of cash for what, in the end, amounted to little more than a useless plastic box.
Playing upon this common frustration, street artist Plastic Jesus created a fake Best Buy product called “useless plastic box,” and stealthily sneaked it onto the shelves of five Los Angeles-area Best Buy stores. The accompanying (perfectly branded) tags listed a price of $99.99, and boasted a product description that included phrases like “will not work once you get it home,” and “battery life too short to be of use.” The warranty reads: “There is no warranty with this piece of crap. If you are dumb enough to buy it you deserve all you get.”
In response to the prank and subsequent media attention, Jon Sandler, a spokesman for Best Buy, told AdFreak:
“A few stores were affected and the boxes were removed immediately. We are flattered that Best Buy is so top of mind for Mr. Plastic Jesus, and are happy that he presumably had the opportunity to witness our expert Blue Shirts and Geek Squad members in action during his visits. Hopefully he also had the chance to check out our fabulous back to school deals.”
A snarky, humorous response to a snarky, humorous prank. All’s fair.
Now if only we could encourage retailers to make all tags, warranties, and disclaimers as honest and transparent as those accompanying the useless plastic box…