That guy in front of you isn’t as dumb as you think.

Spilling Sonic’s Campaign 

That guy in front of you isn’t as dumb as you think.

We’ve been curious about all those Sonic cups we’ve spotted lately on the tops of cars around Kansas City. Surely all those sugar-laden shakes aren’t leading people to forget their Sonic Blasts en masse.

So when we spotted a driver the other day with a signature red Sonic cup on top of his car, we pulled over to ask about it. “They’re paying us 200 bucks a month to put them there,” he replied grumpily before ducking into an office.

Suddenly, our upright acts of flagging down drivers with cups on their cars seemed pretty foolish. (Confession: we usually wait to see if the cups fly off.)

Knowing that we’d been duped, we called Barkley Evergreen & Partners, the ad agency responsible for those chatty Sonic commercials in which couples try to out-talk themselves about burgers.

“It is a promotion,” Barkley Evergreen spokeswoman Erica Wren revealed. “The idea was to create buzz and attention.”

The campaigns “big reveal” isn’t scheduled until October 2. But Wren admitted that for two weeks now, Barkley and Evergreen has paid about 50 Kansas City drivers to attach cups to their cars using hooks and drill holes. The idea was to build up “buzz” before finally coming clean that it’s an ad.

And it did create a buzz, Wren says. Good Samaritans have floored it to flag down the drivers and have even gotten out at intersections to get their attention. Imagine all those motorists who wanted to do a good thing and will now learn they were actually taking part in an advertising campaign.

The Kansas City test of the special cups could lead to a national campaign. That way, drivers everywhere can be distracted by the thought that the idiot in front of them misplaced his Mr. Pibb.

Wren admits that even after she wrote the yet-to-be-issued press release, she found herself fooled. “I was driving to work and saw one of our cups,” she says. “For a split second, I thought I had to go tell the guy.”

We’re still waiting for somebody to add faux bullet holes to a cup. Now that would be clever.

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