Editor's Note: Don't Hassle the Hoff!

I have to say that I was amused—and perhaps a little disturbed in a way—to hear about the theft of David Hasselhoff cutouts from Cumberland Farms stores in New England and Florida this summer. From the reports I've read, it appears that 550 of the 570 Hasselhoff cutouts—showing him from the waist up in a tank top, holding an iced coffee cup—went missing from outside their convenience stores in recent weeks.

My first question was "Really? Why?" If we were in Germany, I could understand a little better, but we're talking about New England and Florida. I didn't think the Hoff fan following was that rabid in those locales.

My second question was "What are people going to do with a cutout of half a Hasselhoff?"

After a brief consideration about the answers to both of those questions, my mind turned to the victim of the thefts, Cumberland Farms. It seems that the company isn't too upset by the thefts and while they're not encouraging people to steal from their stores, Kate Ngo, a brand strategist for the chain, told AP, "We want everyone to enjoy the Hoff. We're flattered by the attention."

So instead, a few days after the incident with the purloined Hoffs, Cumberland Farms turned the rash of thefts into a marketing tool. Their corporate headquarters is encouraging local management not to report the thefts to authorities or file a police report. Instead on Twitter, Cumberland Farms is encouraging people to tweet a photo of their stolen Hoffs and include the hashtag "IcedHoffee." On its Facebook page as well, more and more pictures of the Hoff are appearing in various locations. Pictures are also showing up on Instagram. You can do a search for #showoffyourhoff to see all the places where the missing Hoffs have appeared.

The chain decided keep sending new signs to stores that need them until the campaign ended in August. You can just imagine the call when it came into the PSP who printed the job in the first place. "We need more Hoff!"

Flatbed digital printing sure paid dividends in this instance. After the full length run, being able to re-print a job in smaller quantities on an as needed basis was the key to a successful project—and a happy customer.

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