The long-running Hitman franchise is well known for giving its players the ability to carry out creative assassinations, and this is doubtless the inspiration for Square Enix’s recent marketing stunt. However, unlike the franchise star, Agent 47, Square Enix may have missed its mark.
Square Enix installed fake blood pools emerging from stall doors in public toilets in London. The effect was supposed to emulate a covert killing, but instead elicited more laughs than gasps.
Hitman adverts in the girls’ toilets. Not sure this is what they were going for… pic.twitter.com/1uaz4JKUgO
— grace. (@graceblaise) March 5, 2016
Ever since the tweet broke on the 5th of March, it has been causing much amusement. The author of the original tweet, @graceblaise (who by strange coincidence is a social media manager for another videogame franchice, Total War), even checked the toilets the next day:
Hahaha. I returned to the scene of the crime. pic.twitter.com/V9EiMlLa2c
— grace. (@graceblaise) March 6, 2016
Despite the Twitter controversy, Square Enix has not yet removed the fake pools of blood from the toilet floors. In fairness, the same transfers were also installed in the men’s facilities. However, this particular stunt is a perfect example of unintended reactions.