Resident Evil has always been synonymous with gore and violence, so when it came time to promote the fifth edition, Capcom turned to Monument PR to put together a treasure hunt with a difference: A hunt for dismembered body parts on the streets of London.
Interested participants were asked to email a special email address, which would then reply with clues to the locations of the limbs in their hidden locations in Trafalgar Square. Those who discovered a body part were asked to hold it aloft on Westminster Bridge and shout “Kijuju!” in order to cash in points, and the person with the most points was awarded a holiday to Africa (the game is set in a fictional city in Africa called Kijuju).
It’s certainly one way to attract attention, and has a strong thematic link with the game franchise and its brutal version of zombie horror. Hundreds of fans participated, making the event a success, but it also attracted controversy. On-lookers who lacked the context of the marketing stunt called the police, and it later transpired that the organisers had lost a head, two torsos and six dismembered limbs.
Monument PR have also insisted that the loss of the body parts was not a publicity-seeking stunt in itself, but a genuine accident. Either way, it generated a lot of press coverage for the game. Steve Long, a 26-year-old IT consultant, won the trip for two to Africa. It is unknown whether he kept any of the unrecovered body parts as a memento.