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Viral Marketing Campaign Inspired by Comedy Ends with Tragedy

December 20, 2016
Portland, Oregon

A misleading viral marketing campaign ground to a terrifying halt today as 22 year-old Mannaia Ngowaki was shot dead by Homeland Security forces due to what could only be described as a tragic misunderstanding. Ngowaki, a Hawaiian-born American citizen of Samoan ancestry, was recently hired by a small health food company to participate in a viral marketing campaign to promote a new line of vegan-friendly, non-GMO energy bars.

The company in question, Oahu Benchmark Nutrition, directed Ngowaki to “burst in” to places where large crowds gather and excitedly proclaim his love of their new energy bar. While performing this task, he was to speak in a fake accent and wear clothing commonly associated with traditional Hawaiian culture. The purpose of such a display was to generate interest, attention, and provide a little humor to stressed-out consumers during the frantic holiday season.

Unfortunately, all he provided on his maiden promotional voyage was confusion, terror, and his own fatal end. At 855AM Pacific time, Ngowaki charged into Portland International Airport clad in the aforementioned garb, terrifying everyone who laid eyes on him, and alarming passengers within earshot of the one phrase he kept repeating at the top of his lungs: ‘Oahu snack bar.’ After an astounding 11 minutes of dashing through baggage claim terminals while panicking passengers hid or fled, he was fatally shot 33 times by 3 members of a Department of Homeland Security task force and then stabbed twice by an elderly woman with a particularly-sturdy parasol.

“When I got there I saw this large man running around screaming at the top of his lungs,” said Dennis Warwick, a member of the DHS security force that gunned Ngowaki down, “He was wearing strange clothes and was holding something in his hand that looked like some kind of detonator.” When asked about what Ngowaki was screaming, he added, “I thought he was screaming ‘Allahu Akbar.’ It turns out what he was actually screaming was, ‘Oahu snack bar’. It was a terrible misunderstanding.”

A terrible misunderstanding that wasn’t finally clarified until we reached out to Alika Kalama, the President of Oahu Benchmark Nutrition and the sole catalyst for this unorthodox advertising campaign. He had the following to say:

“We thought a large, screaming Samoan excitedly waving a snack bar around would be funny and attract the interest of Oregonian youth, being that it was both ethnically diverse as well as incredibly stupid, but I guess we were wrong. On that note, had we known that inadvertently faking a terrorist attack could generate so much more publicity, we would have definitely gone with that as our first decision for a marketing campaign.”

Warwick later candidly explained to us how he thought Ngowaki was a rogue terrorist wearing a suicide vest beneath a fat suit, who then lost his mind when he found it would not detonate. The reason behind his bizarre choice in clothing was due to a lack of understanding of basic US geography; that he actually thought he was in Hawaii, and was, in fact, blending in. After his lack of common sense seeped through his leaden skull, however, he refused further questioning.

“I got there late,” stated Dennis Hong, the second member of the DHS security force, who blamed his abysmal response time on a bathroom emergency, “I wasn’t completely aware of the situation, but Other Dennis was already shooting this man who was on the ground. I didn’t want to take any chances, so I started shooting as well. He was very big.” Hong is currently undergoing grief counseling and canine therapy to manage the stress of the incident.

“I just really hate Samoans,” added Jamal Magrola, the third security official named in the incident, as he was being led in handcuffs into the back of an unmarked SUV. We were unable to reach him for further comment.

It wasn’t discovered until much later in the day that the item Ngowaki held in his hand was, in, fact, one of the energy bars he was enthusiastically advertising. This delay was partially due to the fact that a bomb squad had destroyed the item of interest as well as Ngowaki’s body in a controlled demolition moments after the shooting, dismissing any opposition to the action with the insistance that it was in the best interest of everybody in Portland. All members of said bomb squad were awarded for their bravery and selflessness by Charlie Hales, the mayor of Portland.

There is no motion to press charges against Mr. Kalama at this time because he has a lot of money. All 3 security team members involved in the shooting are suspended with pay while an investigation into the incident runs its course. The unidentified elderly woman involved in his stabbing is currently being sought for questioning by local authorities.

EDIT: One of our reporters arrived on scene shortly after the disaster to interview the only remaining eye-witness, but he turned out to be deaf. Since our reporter did not know ASL, the interview was very brief and provided no further information about the event described above. We have no idea what this man may or may not have heard as this terrible tragedy unfolded.