On September 3, a small "UFO" was seen hovering outside a Vancouver Canadians baseball game at Nat Bailey Stadium. Turns out it was a fake UFO that was part of a viral marketing scheme to promote Vancouver's H.R. MacMillan Space Centre. Footage of the UFO was circulated online by an ad agency. The Space Centre has seen attendance rise by 65 percent in the last week. So apparently the viral campaign worked. [CTV News]
It certainly isn't the first time a planetarium has used a hoax to drum up business. The example that comes to mind is the time back in 1940 when Philadelphia's Franklin Institute created a panic by announcing that the world was going to end the next day. The startling announcement (which pretty much backfired on them because of all the negative publicity) was intended to promote a talk at its planetarium titled "How Will the World End?"