A new crime wave is sweeping the nation, as vandals and thieves scramble to steal the objects of greatest value and interest. The latest targets of petty thievery? David Hasselhoff cardboard cut-outs.
Yes, you read that right.
About 550 giant photo cardboard cut-outs of David Hasselhoff flashing “a dreamy smile” and sporting “a lean tank top-clad torso” have been stolen from outside Cumberland Farms convenience stores in recent weeks, allegedly by Hoff fans who “apparently can’t leave [the cut-outs] alone,” according to the AP. According to Cumberland brand strategy specialist Kate Ngo, out of the some-600 original cardboard cut-outs of the Hoff, only about 20 remain for the roughly 570 stores in New England and Florida. Even the Hoff himself is aware of the interest in his ads, reports News 7.
“The first thing I thought of was that I was in trouble and then I thought, ‘Oh good they’re not accusing me of stealing, they’re accusing people of stealing me,'” Hasselhoff said, admitting, “I thought it was pretty funny,” that people were stealing him.
Cumberland is reportedly using cardboard cut-outs of Hasselhoff to advertise a brand of iced coffee, reports Newser. The marketing campaign is paying off, just not the way they thought it would. On second thought, Hasselhoff cut-out thieves may awake to that flashy cardboard smile and find themselves craving iced coffee, so perhaps there is some method to the madness.
Surprisingly, Cumberland isn’t really all that upset by the interest (and dramatic loss) of precious marketing materials. Ngo says that the company is flattered by the attention its ads featuring “the Hoff” are getting. All she asks is that if you stole a Hasselhoff cut-out, do take care of it. Hoff himself agreed, but hopes the ads still encourage people to buy coffee.
“I just hope nobody gets in trouble but I encourage everybody to go out and see what they can do about stealing a Hoff but please have a cup of coffee while doing it,” Hasselhoff said.
Sixty-year-old Hasselhoff is best known in the U.S. for the TV shows Knight Rider and Baywatch. In Europe, particularly Germany, they love him for something I’m still not entirely clear on. All over, he has found new fame in that rarefied atmosphere long-occupied by the likes of Chuck Norris – That place where your stalled career finds its way out of the crapper, and into self-caricature. Long as you can keep your sense of humor, there’s money in it.
Would you steal a Hasselhoff cardboard cut-out? You would. I know you would.