A Promo Dies At Boston Burying Ground

Dr. Pepper has been hiding coins in strange places, including 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground in Boston that houses the remains of many of the nation’s most prominent forefathers.
According to The Boston Globe:

After discovering another unconventional marketing campaign gone awry, angry Boston officials locked the cemetery grounds yesterday, fearing that the landmark cemetery would be damaged by overeager contestants seeking to win the North American top prize of $1 million. Their action frustrated dozens of people who had unraveled clues over the past month and were waiting to get in to seize the booty.
Cadbury Schweppes PLC, which makes Dr Pepper, canceled the Boston portion of the 23-city coin hunt promotion yesterday after acknowledging it had stashed the coin, in a leather pouch, amid the remains of Samuel Adams , John Hancock , Paul Revere , and other historic figures.
“It absolutely is disrespectful,” said Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak. “It’s an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation’s ancestors.”

Dr. Pepper has announced the end of their “Hunt for More” promotion, despite no problems reported in other cities.
The promotion, executed by Circle One Marketing of Norwalk, Conn., involved purchasing specially marked bottles with codes printed on the underside of the caps or behind labels. The codes could then entered into the brand’s promotional web site for clues leading to the location of the coins.
After the 30th and final clue in the Boston hunt was released, Tuesday at 3 a.m., within minutes, dozens of people were camped out in front of the cemetery, waiting for it to open, according to contestants who said they were there.
[via USA Today’s On Deadline]

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. They should stick to their UTC promotions.

  2. See what executive panic creates? Stupidity!

  3. Tom, which executive do you think is panicking, and who’s being stupid?
    I hope you’re talking about the fools at Dr. Pepper. Because hiding a coin in an historic cemetery and then having people descend upon it to find the damn thing seems pretty stupid to me.
    BTW, the coin was placed under the slab of a tombstone.

  4. The executives at Dr. Pepper and those that advised them!