2017 wasn’t the easiest year for a company to try to break through the noise.
There were a few incredible exceptions. Everybody knows about the unorthodox launch of Apple’s iPhone X (including the insane semi-accidental “animoji” karaoke videos gone viral). State Street’s awesome traffic-stopping Fearless Girl statue was huge, creating returns for the bank worth $7.4 million, and everybody loved Tesla’s surprise launch of the record-breaking Roadster after the grand finale of the Tesla Semi launch.
How can marketers and PR pros replicate this success for 2018?
“The ingredients of a good stunt are that it fits with what is happening in the culture today,” Richard Laermer of RLM PR explained. “It has to fit the times. It can’t be something so obscure that no one will get it. It has to really hit people where they live. And most important, a good stunt is something people will tell others about without rolling their eyes.”
Here are five other bold PR stunts in 2017 that you might have missed but that drew millions of eyeballs and captured public imagination:
1. The Jumping Robot video (Boston Dynamics)
Who doesn’t love a jumping, backflipping robot?
Boston Dynamic’s robotic acrobat posted on November 16, 2017 and has already racked up a whopping 12M views. The robot is positioning the ex-Google brand as the go-to B2B brand for delivering humanoids that can walk (and scare the living hell out of you).
What are 12 million views on YouTube worth to your investors and to your brand?
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While other tech CEOs like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have made promotional tours or roadshows to middle America, in April CEO and Co-founder Josh Reeves drove a Winnebago from SF to Jacksonville, stopping at 11 cities along the way (more than 3000 miles).
The trip received local coverage in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Alabama and increased its web traffic by 30%. The business raised $161.1 million in funding, backed by investors including Instagram, Stripe, Yelp, Dropbox and Eventbrite, and is now valued at over $1 billion.
4. Cancun.com‘s “Seeking a Cancun Experience Officer”
TravelPass Group set out to find the right candidate to spread the Cancun love and drive traffic to the newly-relaunched Cancun.com. The company behind the stunt (though they tell me it’s more than just a stunt) is a travel technology company based in Lehi, Utah and is part owner of Cancun.com.
The posted Chief Experience Officer position—cleverly shortened to CEO—pays $10,000 a month for the candidate to live and experience Cancun for 6-months expense free. The CEO will be expected to create content based on their experiences that will be used on Cancun.com.
TravelPass and BestDay launched the job search in early November, resulting in more than 350 articles and over 100 broadcast segments, plus 4,000 applications and counting.
The best part is the list of job requirements:
- Sleeping in luxurious beds overlooking the most pristine beaches
- Scaling 3,000-year-old pyramids followed by a swim with a 40,000-pound whale shark
- Sipping an ice-cold beverage before teeing off 200 yards down an ocean fairway
- Mingling with locals and tourists at your VIP table in the hottest clubs
- Coordinating charitable projects with local organizations to support education, health and well-being
- Having the most enviable job on the planet
Perhaps the best stunt of all is getting one of the biggest brand influencers of all time, Kim Kardashian, to become an early adopter and advisor of your new mobile app. The New York-based app “Screenshop” is known as the Shazam for clothing.
How can other organizations go after big name influencers?
“If you don’t have Kim Kardashian’s digits at your fingertips, thanks to the rise of user friendly platforms like FameBit and TRIBE, influencer marketing strategy is more easily implementable than ever before,” said Nate Masteron, a marketing expert at Maple Holistics.
What opportunities do you see for earned media in 2018, PR Daily readers?