PR: What a bunch of Stunts!
When most people think of PR stunts, they might think ‘float it down the Thames’. And whilst that old cliché might be heavily overplayed, there are many innovative stunts that happen year on year and 2018 has certainly been no exception. So, let’s take a look back at some of the best stunts of the year (so far).
Back in March, Virgin specifically set out to target millennials, poking fun at their everlasting obsessions with a bargain, selfies and avocados. After many young(ish) commuters failed to get their hands on a coveted 26 – 30 railcard (offering a 1/3rd off train fare to a lucky 10,00 travellers), Virgin responded in a fantastic and ingenious way! They launched their very own limited edition ‘Avocard’.
To benefit from the ‘Avocard’, all passengers between the age of 26 – 30 had to do was turn up armed with their ID and an Avocado to secure a third off their ticket price. Whilst the tongue in cheek stunt may have caused offence to some, overall it was just ripe.
Long live the Avocado!
This stunt is one of my personal favourites! During fashion week, Diesel opened up a very understated (and dodgy looking) pop-up store on Canal Street in New York. The USP? It was selling ‘knock-off’ merchandise with a very obvious and deliberate typo in the brands recognisable logo… ’Deisel’.
The pop-up was far from a second-rate market stall. In fact, over the course of two-days, Diesel was selling a very limited collection of authentic and genuine merchandise to unwitting passers-by. Needless to say, when word got out about the ‘fake’ merchandise, patrons were queuing en masse to grab an item and those that had already bought the low price merchandise were even more thrilled with their bargains.
The 14th of February, marks the ultimate day of love, a day to show the object of your affection just how much they mean to you. And, what’s more romantic than a pasty in a paper bag? According to the beloved British baker, Greggs, that would be a pasty on a plate with a glass of prosecco!
For one night only, selected branches were transformed into romantic restaurants open to the public. The best part? For just £15, pasty lovers would be treated to an affordable three-course fine dining experience. The stunt captured the hearts of the nation and picked up a lot of coverage in the process.
This summer, a 9ft statue of Jeff Goldblum was delicately placed on London’s south bank. The giant jeff was installed to mark the 25th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s cult classic, Jurassic Park. This might be the most unsightly stunt on the list and to be honest, I’m not sure how it makes me feel. But, for that reason, it has to make the cut.
Social media went wild for the sculpture, with fans taking selfies with the effigy, which played homage to an infamous shirtless Jeff Goldblum meme. Ultimately, it was a bit of a fun and it worked (although one Guardian journalist disagreed – any news is good news though, right?).
There are many aspects to a campaign and stunts like the ones we’ve seen so far this year, will always have a place. However, in order to be successful, they still need to connect to the brand, the public and be newsworthy. No matter how fun, shocking or bizarre the stunt may seem, the basic fundamentals of PR must apply or it will fail to garner measurable results that go a long way to boost a wider campaign.
We can’t promise Jeff Goldblum statues or Avocados, but if you’re looking to inject some creativity to your campaign, get in touch!