We've gotten pretty good at ignoring commercials, so companies have been forced to come up with new ways to advertise their products that literally challenge us not to notice them. This is why we now live in a world where an epic fantasy television show is releasing a tie-in rap CD and a man in a robot costume patrols train cars for serial molesters.
#5. RoboCop Keeps Japan's Trains Free of Perverts
To coincide with the March release of the new RoboCop movie in Japan, the Japanese police and the West Japan Railway Company joined forces with a man in a RoboCop outfit in a PSA to simultaneously promote the film and combat the growing epidemic of marauding railway gropers. Behold:
One can only assume authorities reached this decision after reviewing RoboCop's decorated history of dealing with sex criminals.
In their version, the detached penis sprouts tentacles and grows 150 feet, forcing Murphy to change to MEGAROBO! mode.
According to the police, RoboCop is "a hammer of justice" against creepy commuters. This infallible line of logic lends itself perfectly to cross-promotional advertising, because nothing makes people want to go to the movies more than thinking about that hour they spent on a crowded train pressed up against a sweaty salaryman with wandering hands.
#4. Churches Give Away Free Guns
Earlier this month, the Kentucky Baptist Convention held its first in a series of events at the Lone Oak Baptist Church where attendees had the chance to win one of an assortment of 25 handguns, long guns, and shotguns, because raffling off lemon squares just wasn't putting enough asses in the Lord's chairs.
Lone Oak First Baptist Church
"Throw in a steak dinner, too. But no open bar; we don't want people thinking we're irresponsible."
Meanwhile, the Grace Baptist Church in upstate New York is raffling off an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, as advertised by this flier that looks like the cover of an early '90s rap album:
Grace Baptist Church
"Our Holy Spirit is the ghost of Eazy-E."
Clearly, the best way to educate people who are confused as to whether a 2,000-year-old book gives them permission to carry semi-automatic weapons is to simply hand them guns without any kind of background check or training.
#3. A Jeweler Will Give You a Free Xbox One if You Buy an Engagement Ring
If you're the type of person who cannot decide whether you want a wife or an Xbox, you're in luck: Perrywinkle's will throw in a free Xbox One if you come in and buy an engagement ring with at least a 3/4-carat diamond stone. Unfortunately, nobody informed Perrywinkle's that "men who purchase extravagant diamond engagement rings based on the number of free video game systems that come with said engagement ring" is a demographic that doesn't exist.
"I need to return the ring. She left me for a guy with a PS4."
It is unclear how the Xbox will help capture the moment of your proposal forever, unless by some chance your proposal includes the phrase "Xbox, record that."
#2. HBO Hired Rappers to Make a Mixtape About Game of Thrones to Attract "Urban" Fans
In an attempt to make Game of Thrones more appealing to an "urban" and "multicultural" audience, HBO hired a handful of rappers to write songs for a hip-hop/reggaeton mixtape called "Catch the Throne," which we're assuming was the idea that barely edged out "have Peter Dinklage walk around in a backward baseball cap all season" during HBO's brainstorming session.
"Hey, kids! It's Common and the Garfunkel half of Outkast! Slammin'!"
The majority of the album consists of generic rapper beats sprinkled with vague Dungeons & Dragons references, with one song literally containing the chorus "Dungeons, dragons, kings, and queens." Nailed it, HBO. For a minute we were worried that this rap fantasy mixtape was a huge waste of everyone's time.
#1. An Olympic Athlete Changed His Name to an Underwear Brand in Exchange for Sponsorship
Back in 2008, Princess Salote of the island nation of Tonga put out a call to her people asking for one brave athlete to step forward and train to become the country's first Winter Olympian. Twenty-one-year-old Bruno Banani accepted the challenge and trained with the German luge team until finally qualifying for the Sochi Olympics last month.
Alex Livesey/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
His speed suit is made entirely out of unsold male thongs.
Unfortunately, the entire story is a lie. See, the man's real name is Fuahea Semi, and when German underwear company Bruno Banani decided to fund his training, they did it on the condition that he would change his name to Bruno Banani and become the spokesman for their new line of underpants. They were apparently gambling heavily on nobody noticing the fact that their athlete serendipitously had the exact same name as their company. This is essentially the same as Coca-Cola agreeing to sponsor Michael Phelps and forcing him to change his name to CokeSprite Johnson.
The third part of XJ's epic science-fiction novel is out now on Amazon. The first $0.99 novella can be found here, with Part 2 out here. Or leave a review and get a free copy! Poke him on Twitter and follow him on Facebook.