When the FBI wanted to put an end to the 16-year disappearance of Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger -- the inspiration for the main character in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" -- it decided to advertise. To women.
Whitey Bulger and girlfriend
According to The New York Times
, the FBI created a 30-second PSA and purchased 350 time slots that would run in 14 cities on "shows geared to women viewers, such as 'Dr. Oz,' as part of an effort to find Mr. Bulger," through his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who "had had multiple plastic surgeries, got her teeth cleaned once a month, frequented beauty salons and loved dogs." The PSA's were an aim "to capture the attention of older women who watch daytime television and might have encountered Ms. Greig, 60, at a beauty salon or elsewhere in their daily lives."
In an earlier attempt to close in on Bulger through his girlfriend's fondness for cosmetic procedures, the FBI placed ads in medical and dental newsletters asking, "Have you treated this woman?"
Vanity: It'll get you every time. And TV advertising: still effective.