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What makes a good PR stunt?

It has to be memorable, visual and imaginative but doesn’t necessarily have to be complex. Sometimes it is just a matter of timing.

Unusual, eye catching and amusing, Visit Iceland’s 2022 Out Horse Your Email campaign offered a new slant on tourism publicity. Scenes of beautiful Icelandic countryside were offset by poking fun at the idea of a constant slew of work emails intruding into a holiday. Some employees just cannot stop checking emails – so Visit Iceland tasked a horse to reply on their behalf via a giant keyboard! It certainly brought a smile to everyone who encountered the campaign.

Equally memorable publicity content resulted from Penguin’s creation of a un-burnable copy of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, resulting in scenes where the book is shown sitting proudly among the flames.

On a different note, heart rending giant smiling photographs located around the South Bank were designed to stress that suicide doesn’t always look suicidal. This was a stunt that highlighted stories behind these heart rending photos and how knowledge can save lives which is why CALM’S online toolkit is a valuable resource.

Promoting a photo of a letter drop is a classic PR guerrilla tactic but The Body Shop’s campaign against the government’s anti-protest Public Order Bill worked perfectly because it resonated with the communities involved. In campaigning for greater representation of youth voices via a letter to all members of the House of Lords prior to a second reading, the Body Shop prompted debate in the Lords as well as creating the company’s best performing content on social media.

The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch always catches media attention. The idea is simple – how many and what species of birds can be seen in the garden. People from all over the country take part and it always creates lots of stories.

Greenpeace & Everyday Plastic’s BigPlasticCount is another example of how a simple survey can result in massive publicity. Tracking recycling habits found that nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic are thrown away annually with only 12% being recycled in the UK. With fruit and veg packaging being the most commonly thrown away, supermarkets were lucky to avoid too much negative publicity.

Completing the year was the No Bounty Campaign. People love or hate Coconut filled Bounty bars resulting in a Christmas debate over what to do with the Bounty bars left uneaten in boxes of Celebrations every year. As a result, special Bounty free boxes were created with Maltesers replacing Bounty bars. Getting your hands on one of these boxes required attending a Tesco Christmas market pop up – and swapping a standard Celebrations tub for the special version. It was followed by a limited run of special boxes for purchase. It was a simple, effective stunt that attracted lots of media and public interest in the run up to Christmas.

Do you want help with your next PR Stunt?

Last year definitely had its fair share of spectacular PR stunts – so think outside the box and see how you can make a superb impact on 2023. Talk to us and see how we can help you devise a memorable campaign.