Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hey, there's a Minute Man in this box..

Dr. Pepper has a reputation as the unfriendly digger-upper in Boston. In another "guerilla advertising" project gone awry, the soda owned by Britain's Cadbury Schwepps promised big bucks to the finder of a special coin. Follow the clues to the coin -- sound familiar?

However, the company they hired to hide the coin buried it in the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground in Boston. Nice place. Sam Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock and others occupy the boxes buried there.

There was no damage -- primarily because the cemetery gates were locked due to weather. In fact, the parks folks only found out about the contest when a bunch of irritable searchers called to complain about the locked gate.

The UK press went wild on this, with good stories in the Independent and the Guardian. But now the U.S. media are picking it up.

Watch for a negative bounce on this for letterboxing. It's hard to prevent stupid people from being stupid, but the explanation (an indignation) of conscientious people goes a long way.


ahistory said...

Thanks for the info Clyde. These incidents combined with geocaches on both coasts placed near Wal-Mart electrical boxes has a lot more people paying attention to "subversive" activities in urban areas.

I was wondering has anyone ever heard of a letterbox causing a stir? I have seen these contests and plenty of poorly placed geocaches raise the suspicion of authorities, but I have never been able to confirm an actual letterbox doing this.

It's tough when our hobby suffers due to market-driven stupidity. How do we pass on ethics of proper placement to coordinate happy geocachers and rogue guerilla ad campaigns? Seems there's not much we can do other then lay low for a while and practice extra discretion.

Fox-fyr said...

I am glad to see that the "A Treasure's Trove" book by Michael Staedler which is a worldwide treasure hunt for actual diamond rings emphasizes that nothing is buried and that no property should be disturbed for the finding of the treasures.

FYI, in its own style of scavenger hunting Missouri State Parks will soon be announcing a new "Trail of the Month" passport program in which hikers must hiker a trail to find a marker, solve a simple clue on a signpost, journal about their entry then fax or otherwise submit the journal entry the central office. Those who complete four of six such trails per region, or four trails each in a different region can earn a coin that is attachable to a hiking stick.

The program begins May 1 with a kickoff event at Rock Bridge State Park. Watch for details. The goal of the program is to get people actually out in the parks (especially as the trend for park attendance nationwide is declining due to fewer and fewer people getting outdoors.)

While there are no letterboxing or geocaching aspects to the trail of the month program yet, I spoke last week with the program coordinator who shared that she is looking for ways to incorporate both into the program.

Looks like our slowly growing hobby is gaining more and more attention every year. I'm still not convinced its a good thing, but it's definitely happening.