Dell Streak internal marketing stunt scares employees, gets unwanted SWAT team attention

Streak-swat-stunt

Some may say they'd do just about anything for their Dell Streak or Streak 7, but I'm pretty sure even the most die-hard fans would draw the line way before doing something that could get them arrested.

Two Dell employees, on the other hand, orchestrated an ill-conceived "secretive internal marketing campaign" today to celebrate the release of the "new Dell Streak tablet [that] can interface with Harley-Davidson motorcycles" and ended up in police custody. Dressed in dark clothes, wearing a mask, and wielding what 911 callers thought were weapons, one of the men involved in the stunt made his through Dell's buildings in Round Rock ordering people to go to the lobby.

Obviously, a masked man with weapons (they were really just "two metallic objects") barging into an office building and yelling at everyone caused employees to call 911 and press panic alarms in secured areas, which in turn led local law enforcement to storm the Dell campus.

When they arrived, one of the men refused to comply with the officers, raising the intensity level of the situation. Eleven minutes later, however, the "attack" was determined to be a marketing plan that nobody knew about. The two men were arrested and charged with misdemeanors.

According to a spokesperson for the Round Rock police, the purpose of the stunt-gone-wrong was just supposed to be "go to the lobby because we're introducing a new item." A "source inside Dell" identified this item as the "new Dell Streak tablet" and the local news showed the Streak 7 integrated into the Harley video we all saw last week, but I personally think it was either the Streak 10 or something else entirely.

DELL Inspiron 17 5000 Series 5770

It doesn't make any sense for something like this to be done for the Streak 7 when it was released two weeks ago. Unless everyone in Round Rock has really been under a rock, the Streak 7 is not "a new item" to them.

[KXAN via GottaBeMobile]
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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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11 thoughts on “Dell Streak internal marketing stunt scares employees, gets unwanted SWAT team attention

  • February 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm
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    I saw this on the local news when it first happened (I live in Austin) but there was no mention of the streak.

    Reminds me of a friend in high school that spray painted “Here comes the boom!” (a quote from a DMX song) on the school wall. Well FBI and a bunch of other agencies got involved thinking it was a terrorist threat. Luckily he didn’t face criminal charges but was expelled 2 weeks before graduation.

    Reply
  • February 16, 2011 at 2:44 am
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    They say that no publicity is bad publicity… but I’m no so sure.

    Wonder if they will get fired… talk about a tone-deaf marketing ploy… really unbelievable.

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  • February 16, 2011 at 3:43 am
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    i defo buy next gen streak opus :D

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  • February 16, 2011 at 7:36 am
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    they were mad, because there is no 2.2….. :}

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  • February 16, 2011 at 10:18 am
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    What a bunch of morons. Dell marketing is one of the worst I have ever experienced from such a large company.

    Stick to business computing, and stop trying so hard.

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  • February 16, 2011 at 11:47 am
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    Hello everyone, just read from android central about the possible road map of dell’s honeycomb tablet. And yes, opus one us on there. Coming possible early next year.
    Jenn, can investigate more on this leak road map? I’m super excited about this already.

    Reply
  • February 17, 2011 at 4:31 am
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    oh bless you Yanks always over the top. God help us….

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  • February 17, 2011 at 7:03 pm
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    So… what were the metallic objects? I’d say thats pretty important… frankly as far as I’m reading into this, “Someone got trigger happy and called the police cause they saw someone with a mask”, and “police send swat unit at drop of a hat”, theres alot left to explain here, and in no way does this have ANYTHING to do with Harleys, I could install a dock in a Yugo if I wanted to.

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  • February 18, 2011 at 6:20 am
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    YEA, THAT’S WHAT I THINK SO TOO.

    IM PLANNING TO SUIT DELL FOR FALSE AND MISADVERTIMENT, MISCONDUCT, MAL PRACTICE AND SO ON.

    THIS GUYS DID WHAT A LOT OF US WOULD LIKE TO DO.

    THEY ARE MY HEROS NOW.

    PS. IM GOING BACK TO IPHONE. I NOW SEE THAT ANDROID IS THE BIGGEST FLOP FROM GOOGLE.

    WE WANT UPGRADE TO FROYO NOW, NOT WHEN 3.O COMES OUT.

    PS IPHONE HAS NETFLIX, YEA BABY.
    SCREW ANDROID. AND MOST OF ALL DELL.

    Reply

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