It seems these days companies will go to extreme and weird lengths just to get publicity. After looking at some of these crazy stunts, we’ve decided to put together our top ten marketing stunts.
The list includes April fools pranks, fake comics, the largest ever logo on display and even a 33-foot statue of a famous musician. Intrigued? Read on to find out about the most outrageous things for a mere bit of publicity.
1. Ronaldo Switches from Football Sensation to Homeless Man
For the release of his own brand of headphones, Ronaldo decided it would be a good idea to dress up in disguise and hit the streets of Madrid as an elderly footballer.
For this stunt, the Real Madrid forward transformed himself into an elderly man with wig and beard to match. Strolling out into the streets of Madrid, he ties up his canine companion, grabs his football and starts pulling off worldies. As you would expect, people walk by without a clue who he actually is.
Some, but not many, decided to play football with the mystery elderly footballer. One child in particular caught the attention of Ronaldo, who started playing with the young lad, showing off tricks. After playing for a while, Ronaldo picked up the ball and signed it. He then took off his disguise and revealed to everyone just who he really was. The boy was in pure shock, especially when the footballer gave him the signed ball. It was no surprise that once his identity was revealed, crowds of people started to swarm around him.
That’s definitely one way to get the attention of the masses — especially if you’re a global superstar. It certainly did the trick, with so many people gathering around wondering why one of the most famous football players in the world was walking the streets of Madrid in disguise.
2. Nathans Doc-approved Dogs
Even the biggest hot dog franchise in America used a publicity stunt to get the business going. The owner started out as a server in another big hot-dog restaurant. When he went out on his own he wondered how he could beat his competition.
At first, he lowered the cost, but this raised questions about quality. He then paid people to make the business looks busy, but once again people saw through this!
So, as the final attempt, he offered free hot dogs to nurses and doctors when in uniform!
This made perfect sense considering the hospitals were near buy. Although some speculated that he hired people to dress in the uniforms, no-one can deny that this stunt worked — his competition doesn’t even exist anymore!
3. Taco Bell Has a The Liberty Bell
When Taco Bell was coming up with ways to advertise the company they decided an April fools prank was best. The prank they decided on was to buy out newspaper advertising space and tell the world that they had purchased the Liberty Bell. Not only had they purchased it though, they had renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell.
People were outraged over the news and many complaints were made! Just how could a piece of American heritage be sold!
Once the joke was explained, everyone calmed down and enjoyed the prank for what it was. The stunt certainly did the trick, demonstrated by the uproar of media coverage the story got! There’s no such thing as bad publicity, after all.
4. Watch Out Giant Ice Lolly About
For their next big advertisement, Snapple decided to make the largest frozen juice pop in the world. Sure, it sounded like a good plan, but they completely forgot that ice actually melts.
The company found out the bad way when the ice melted quicker than was expected. Because of the sheer size of the lolly and the amount of water within it, it started to flood the streets and people had to go back in their houses. The city was flooded with a weird strawberry goop (sounds like a bit of a sticky situation).
This stunt turned out to be a bit of a bust for the company, but they still get plenty of media coverage for it.
5. Superman Is Dead
DC comics revealed that they were releasing a new superman comic, but it wasn’t the type of comic that the fans were expecting. Instead, the comic was called ‘The Death of Superman’. They needed a kick-ass way to reveal it!
Once the news was released, fans were doing whatever they could to get their hands on the much-awaited comic. They couldn’t believe that the company would kill off a character worth so much and so loved. The comic sold out everywhere, so DC produced more. In the end, the media coverage around the story was huge and everyone wondered why they’d do something like this!
It turns out it was for sales figures. Not long after, they released other comics named ‘Funeral for A Friend’ about superman’s funeral. The next one they released was the ‘Return of Superman’. Fans were happy to know that the much-beloved character was back, but wondered why they killed him off in the first place.
Pure and simple it was a media stunt to get the world’s attention and generate more sales for the company. DC got exactly what they wanted out of the big stunt, as the comic sales for superman’s death were in the hundreds of millions.
6. Odd Auctions
Many online casinos have got in on the crazy promotion techniques. One popular online casino decided to do the weirdest thing they could ever imagine!
In 2004 the online casino purchased William Shatner’s kidney stone for $25,000, so they could then auction it off to buyers for charity. They didn’t stop there, though; the popular online casino took it one step further when they auctioned a partially eaten cheese sandwich with a burnt crust that looked very similar to the Virgin Mary for $28,000. Although these auction items had very little to do with the brand, it brought a huge load of media attention to the company which is what these big stunts are for.
7. KFC Goes to Area 51
The KFC team travelled to the Nevada desert and set up camp near/in area 51. The reason for this was to promote their newly designed logo.
The team created and built the world’s largest logo in the desert. The picture was even visible from space. Now we understand why they needed the dessert, the logo wouldn’t fit anywhere else. Once again KFC got exactly what they wanted with people being very intrigued by the marketing methods and the media coverage being huge. The stunt wasn’t permanent, though, once they got a bird’s eye view of the logo they then took it down and continued with business.
8. Michael Jackson Becomes 33 Foot Tall
Sony Music is known for representing some of the biggest names in the music industry, including the late and great Michael Jackson. Ahead of his new album release HIStory, the company decided to do some extreme advertising for the album.
Michael was also known for his eccentricity and being unpredictable, but no-one could have guessed what happened next. The company built a 33-foot-tall statue of the musician and let it float along the river Thames in London.
People gathered round to look at the statue and stand in surprise and wonder why and how the statue had appeared. This statue wasn’t just a one-off, though, it was one of ten statues that were placed around Europe ahead of the album release.
9. Message in A Bottle
Several years ago Guinness decided they needed to up their advertising and decided to go with a huge and crazy marketing stunt.
The company dropped 150,000 beer bottles into the sea, each one had a message from King Neptune himself in them. The reason for this was because the company thought that the people that found the bottles would spread the word about the brand and they would even become customers.
When you find a message in a bottle on a beach you certainly do not expect it to be a letter from the king of the sea that was sent by Guinness. But the stunt was definitely inventive.
10. Horror Tape
The Blair Witch Project is a film that probably most people know about. But did you know all the advertisement and hype around the film was caused by a marketing stunt?
The company who made the film decided to hand out tapes of parts of the film to college students and tell them the footage was real. A huge uproar happened around colleges in America with a mysterious videotape going round. Not only did they do this, but when the film was released the company put up missing posters of the actors around Cannes film festival. The posters said the actors went missing after filming and were told they had been mentally scared by participating in the film.
Of course, though this was all a hoax to get more people to go and see the film. So many people saw the film and believed it was real, but the company then released that it was all just a marketing stunt. It worked in their favour though as the film brought in millions of dollars and millions of people queued to see the film.
There are the biggest and craziest marketing stunts that have been done. They may seem weird, but most of them got the publicity they wanted. Many casinos do huge stunts like this as well, it’s a method every company uses at some point. We didn’t realise just how far some companies will go for the media coverage.
What do you think about the stunts? Let us here at Lucky Nugget know by dropping a comment down below. Good luck!