The weekend saw netizens going through a rollercoaster ride of emotions with all the dramatic news that flooded our timelines — that included a report that the SM Mall of Asia Globe was stolen. Yes, that huge metal globe right in the middle of the road to MOA — stolen. Even though most netizens could tell that the MOA Globe theft was a mere publicity stunt, when the truth came out, not everyone found it as humorous as intended.
DEVELOPING STORY #BrandRap: The MOA Globe has been stolen.
SM Mall of Asia management posted this official statement on their Facebook page.
Follow us for more updates. pic.twitter.com/cHyPGrk9m9
— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) November 13, 2021
On Saturday night, different media outlets reported that the MOA Globe had allegedly gone missing. It was accompanied by a legitimate-looking statement from the SM Mall of Asia management, where they were reportedly “currently working with authorities in investigating the MOA Globe incident.”
Spread like wildfire
lmaoooo my trends looking like a newspaper headline
“MOA Globe, Ninakaw.”
“Artist of the Year, Sunghoon” pic.twitter.com/Thza6iOFzE
— シエラ. #OurJAEYUNiverseDay (@jakehoonated) November 14, 2021
The reports immediately spread like wildfire, with the posts from the media outlets being shared again and again. By late afternoon, the keywords “MOA Globe” were trending all over social media.
A flood of memes
Netizens had mixed reactions. Some felt outraged, many thought it was unbelievable, and others were just resigned to the fact — with all the craziness from the past couple of years, a ridiculous theft like this isn’t that far-fetched anymore. And a lot of people just made memes, because you know, ha ha what the hell is even happening anymore.
tangina iba talaga ang philippine trends ngayon. we went from crying over the all too well short film, critizing politicians for withdrawing and filing COCs at the last minute, to wondering how tf the MOA globe got stolen 😭
— ynah | pagod era (@ysobeell) November 13, 2021
you know the philippines is a whole circus when this huge moa globe just got stolen 😬 pic.twitter.com/YeIumrBJy4
— KL 🎀 (@tiffany_rose___) November 13, 2021
rip moa globe pic.twitter.com/cS07nd9mKd
— ً (@raphaelmiguel) November 13, 2021
the moa globe thief: pic.twitter.com/BcN30xJze1
— Stefan (@speckheyyy) November 13, 2021
it’s always “i love you” but never “nanakawin ko ang moa globe for you”pic.twitter.com/Ppmb4DEROb
— ً (@everywoon) November 13, 2021
wts lfb ph
– freshly pulled
– mint condition
dm for price pic.twitter.com/MVT8C6fK3N
— aly 🧸 jake birth (@0325haul) November 13, 2021
As we all know now, the truth about the incident was revealed a day later. The MOA Globe is safe and secure in its spot in front of the Mall of Asia and was never even taken away from there. The whole thing was only a publicity stunt for the Netflix film Red Notice.
It definitely drew a lot of attention
If the goal was to garner attention for the release of Red Notice, it definitely worked. Over the weekend, one of the most talked-about topics was the alleged theft. You could say that was definitely a success, especially when the attention was shifted to the film itself.
But maybe it wasn’t executed in the best way
After the truth was revealed, some netizens expressed frustration over the publicity stunt. During this time when everyone is awaiting news regarding the elections, the pandemic, and similar matters, things only got more confusing and enraging when the trusted news sources suddenly reported that a huge structure like the MOA Globe was supposedly stolen.
BLACK/RED NOTICE: Publicity stunts are fine as long as they are packaged as such. An indication of gimmickry gone wrong is public confusion leading to baseless accusations and misplaced anger. Review “Trese” billboard defacement and “Red Notice” MOA Globe “theft.” First is fine.
— Danilo Arao (@dannyarao) November 14, 2021
Even if this stunt was trying to replicate the highly successful ad campaign of Trese, it didn’t have the same effect because there were many different aspects. For one, Trese’s ads were obviously a publicity stunt from the get-go because they were animated and easily distinguishable from the rest of its surroundings (whether it be on a billboard or a newspaper page). Meanwhile, the MOA Globe incident didn’t immediately point to the film Red Notice. In fact, many thought it was for IKEA.
Fighting against misinformation
In this digital age when we need to work hard to fight against fake news and misinformation, an official-looking report like those that came out from legitimate news sites made people do a double-take about the “news”. It also didn’t help that SM MOA’s statement looked very legitimate and didn’t have any other indication that it could be part of a publicity stunt.
It is important to note, however, that some media outlets did clearly label their original post with their advertising tag (one in particular only reported facts, e.g. scaffolding covered the MOA Globe’s location). But even with proper sponsored content labeling, the problem is that not everyone is familiar with these media practices. Hence, more people were confused, and later when the publicity stunt was revealed, irritated.
IKEA is the true winner here
Man that whole Netflix/MOA/Rappler thing was confusing as hell hahaha
— PZ (@PhotosbyPZ) November 14, 2021
One thing’s for sure — IKEA won in this whole MOA Globe fiasco. After netizens assumed that the alleged theft was simply a publicity stunt, many pointed to IKEA (wrong brand!), especially with IKEA’s upcoming official store opening. It kind of made sense — we can easily imagine the MOA Globe being transformed into a meatball.
IKEA refuted the claim, but the Swedish home brand did gain a lot of publicity without even spending a cent. That’s definitely a win.
— IKEA Philippines (@IKEAPHP) November 14, 2021
What do you think of the MOA Globe publicity stunt?