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Publicity Stunts 101

These days you need to go big to grab attention. Publicity stunts are a fun, interesting and eye-catching way to capture your audience’s attention.Earlier this year myself and Jane Caro joined the The Morning Show to discuss what makes a successful publicity stunt.

Publicity stunts include tools such as Flash Mobs, Giveaways and RAK (random acts of kindness) and they are being used by everyone including companies like T-Mobile and Sir Richard Branson. Their appeal lies in their ability to instantly captivate audiences and entertain. Check out this clever and creative flash mob below that went viral around the world in 2009.

If you can’t view the video - click here -

Publicity stunts can be elaborate or simple but their importance is in the news interest and awareness they generate for your brand. Here are a few things you need to consider when creating your own successful publicity stunt.

1. The Nature of the Stunt - A good publicity stunt is memorable for all the right reasons. Is there continuity between your publicity stunt and your key message? Will people remember your brand or simply the publicity stunt surrounding it? For example, who can remember what brand of car Oprah gave away in her bumper car giveaway in 2004?  

2. Reason for the Stunt - What are your motives for creating your publicity stunt? The greatest downfall of a publicity stunt is dishonesty. You need to be upfront and clear with your motives from the start. There have been a number of campaigns which have publicly claimed to not be a publicity stunt but have in fact been uncovered as a stunt designed specifically to gain attention e.g. Witchery’s ‘Man in the Jacket’ campaign.There is a fine line between being playful and outright lying. Your consumers like to be entertained but DO NOT like to be deceived.

3. The Visual - More than anything else your publicity stunt needs to be entertaining otherwise it will lose its appeal and people won’t stop and engage with it. Another consideration is the logistics of where, when and how your consumers will see your publicity stunt.

4. News Value -  A publicity stunt must be ORIGINAL, FRESH and DIFFERENT. These three characteristics are key. You want people to talk about your publicity stunt - in the media, online and to their friends.

5. Practicality - How ambitious is your stunt? and What are the possible dangers? After all you want publicity not a disaster story.

Below I have posted some examples of recent successful and creative publicity stunts for you to check out, along with the entire segment from The Morning Show.

If you can’t view the video - click here -

If you can’t view the video - click here -

If you can’t view the video - click here -

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