Six ridiculous publicity stunts businesses can learn from

Unfortunately though, not every business can afford to give a man a jacket with their logo on it, put him 25 miles above the earth and get him to jump out of a balloon like Red Bull somehow managed to.

Businesses have always attempted alternative methods of reaching an audience – with varying levels of success. If you’re thinking of going down this road, perhaps you could take some inspiration, or some cautionary advice, from these company’s efforts.

(1) Chicken Treat

An Australian fried chicken vendor made global headlines this year when they opted to put an actual live chicken in charge of their Twitter posts. 

Using the hashtag #chickentweet, Betty has to date amassed 38.2k followers, wowing her followers with such witty repartee as “,m;j rbv ,zxjklrhi8g7atjuk ,,,, #chickentweet”.

Let’s hope she has impressed the company enough to be spared the fate of her not so tech-savvy brothers and sisters.

(2) British Knight Sneakers

Having smelly socks isn’t usually something to brag about, but in 1993, Dave Hargrave came first in a “World’s Smelliest Socks” contest, and won complimentary trainers for three years. 

Footwear company British Knights sponsored the event to promote a new canvas shoe which was created to prevent foot odour. The company received over 300 entries through the post. That office must have been a fun place to work in at the time… 

(3) The Blair Witch Project

Hollywood horrors such as Sleepy Hollow and House on Haunted Hill cost $100m and $37m respectively, but the big horror success of 1999 was shot for $22,000 – and then pulled in almost $250m. 

The flick was filmed on camcorder and presented to media outlets as footage “found in the woods”. The marketing team posted fake accounts from “survivors” on message boards, and convinced IMDB (in its infancy) to list the cast as “missing”. Some news outlets took the bait, even reporting that the story was real.

This was an early example of viral marketing, and it proved incredibly successful. The memorable campaign assured the movie was one of the most infamous of all time, not just within the horror genre, even though the movie itself draws a not-so-brilliant 6.5 rating on IMDB.

Think those stunts are ridiculous? This is just the tip of the iceberg. Continue reading on page two to discover more insane marketing stunts made by businesses – and what you can learn from them.

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