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Stunts

Baby Products Company Gives Mom Bloggers Candy in Pill Bottles

Today we learned that a company specializing in baby products tried to promote its name at the recent BlogHer conference by hiding candy in the least acceptable place: pill bottles.

pill-candy-hed-2014

The bottles weren’t real, of course, but they looked real enough to create something of a stir at the event.

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UK Firm Goes to Outer Space and Back to Announce Rebranding

Today we learned that a service apparently allows users to send objects into space and film them there for YouTube-ready clips. We also learned that the UK’s Houston PR (nee Twelve Thirty Eight) used the service to highlight the World’s Highest Press Release as it hovered 27 miles above the planet.

It’s a pretty cool way to announce a name change.

Unfortunately–as our own Shawn Paul Wood showed us yesterday–the myths about our ability to make such clips “go viral” are just that (especially when said clips do not involve Walter White bobbleheads or George Takei action figures carrying gay pride flags).

The stunt is certainly fun–but Houston, we may have a problem with the font size…

(H/T AdRants)

Discovery Channel ‘Shark Week’ Stunt Actually Scared the Crap out of Canadians

In a true “War of the Worlds” moment (look it up, kids), The Discovery Channel and its various agencies managed to scare quite a few shark-weary Canadians with the help of the local government before admitting yesterday that it was all a stunt.

Here’s the clip that went semi-viral, alleging that a bull shark had been spotted in Lake Ontario. Does this look like a paid ad?

It is. More specifically, it was created by OMD and TBWA to promote the upcoming special ”In Search of Canada’s Rogue Shark”–a special sponsored by Nissan.

Yet authorities took it so seriously that Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro told local press:

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…it is potentially, I guess, a very serious situation. If there is a shark in Lake Ontario we need to know about it.”

It’s almost like Discovery fed him the damn lines. In other words, it’s still very possible to get both local media and a skeptical public to believe–or at least click on–even the most unbelievable nonsense. Need more proof? One word: mermaids.

Thanks for setting the bar so very low, Discovery.

Seems Crazy, But Taylor Swift Was Actually a Good Choice for a WSJ Op-Ed

taylor swiftWhen I first saw a tweet expressing disbelief that Taylor Swift had written an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, I ignored it, thinking it was a mistake. But it turns out that yes, indeed, this story does exist.

As part of its 125th anniversary celebration, The WSJ included a column by singer/songwriter/everyone’s bestie during a break up, Taylor Swift. On its face, this is a stunt. The WSJ is considered stuffy and serious, usually not the place where you would see much about a country-pop music star, let alone a byline by one. But actually, it’s an inspired move that shines a light on the creative ways that you can present a brand to the world.

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Marc Jacobs Chooses ‘Real People’ from Instagram for His Latest Campaign

marc jacobs real peopleAnother brand is doing the whole “real models” thing, and this time it’s going high-end.

Marc Jacobs put out a call in April for fans and models to submit their names via Instagram to be considered for the upcoming campaign. According to The Daily Beast, 70,000 people responded and a new hashtag, #CastMeMarc, was born. After some deliberation, nine people were chosen to appear in the Fall/Winter 2014 campaign, which will make its debut in Teen Vogue.

Jacobs says he was looking to tap into “youth and energy” by going the social media route. The Beast has another take: “It was a well-played PR stunt; Jacobs accumulated plenty of free press for—let’s be honest—finding pretty people on the Internet.

“And the media ate it up, praising the campaign’s diversity and selection of ‘real people’ (apparently paid models aren’t actually human). It’s unclear whether these very real and authentic people are being paid as much (if at all) as previous faces of Marc by Marc campaigns—which includes unreal people like M.I.A. and Dakota Fanning—though we can assume that they are being compensated mostly in flattery and social cache,” the article continues.

So lots of different kinds of free publicity here. But we’re going to fall back on our previous question: How much more of this “real people” stuff will people go for?

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Celestial Couture: Premiere Catwalk at One World Trade Center

WTC Fashion Show Poster JMA“Having friends in high places” is often considered to be a ticket to business and personal success. For model turned entrepreneur Jessica Minh Ahn, it’s all about fashion in high places. She’s staged catwalk events worldwide in spots like the Grand Canyon Skywalk, London’s Tower Bridge and sky-high settings in the Middle East and Asia.

On Wednesday evening Minh Ahn assembled a global cast of designers for a first-ever catwalk event at One World Trade Center (WTC) in New York. She was undaunted by the ongoing construction at the tallest building in the western hemisphere and hosted the show on the 63rd floor. The runway was a mix of 8 brands, comprising haute couture, premium ready-to-wear and active wear. Each designer debuted a signature collection based on the landmark locale.

“Fashion is the international language and there are no more boundaries now”, said participating designer Diego Cortizas of Chula. Indeed, the show reflected a veritable World Cup of fashion. Here’s a selection of brands and images in the WTC spotlight.

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McDonald’s Pranks Aspiring Vegas Performers for Promo Stunt

The concept of a zombie-themed musical extravaganza in Vegas is apparently believable enough to fool a group of theater devotees who happened to be gathering in the general area for an “art walk event”. McDonald’s, Dr. Pepper and Vegas theater The Arts Factory (which has LOTS of vintage bike nights) collaborated on this stunt with, we presume, an agency that will choose to remain nameless.

The purpose of this surprisingly high-budget event was to promote the chain’s new “After Midnight” menu, and the resulting video resembles a collection of clips from “American Idol” rejects.

You’ll have to pardon us for being a bit skeptical…and a little sad for the “crowdsourced” passersby who didn’t seem to realize that it was a joke. Steve Hall of MarketingLand writes:

“To promote ‘Hunger in the Night,’ McDonald’s outreach efforts incorporated advertisements, media support and branded promotional materials, including a wrapped tour bus to attract participants to the open casting.”

That’s quite an effort. We’re not even sure these would-be stars of stage and screen are representative of the target audience for AM munchies. But if the brand needs a PR who can speak to that particular demo, we do have someone in mind…

#PRWIN: Hillary Clinton Greets Stalking Squirrel, Promotes Book at the Same Time

Hillary Clinton shakes stalking squirrel’s hand, gives him book – CNN Political Ticker - CNN.com Blogs-1In case you haven’t heard, a protester from the Republican National Committee — dressed, for some reason, in a squirrel costume — has been following Hillary Clinton around while touting terrible puns like “another Clinton in the White House is nuts.”

About eight minutes before Hillary was supposed to appear at a CNN town hall meeting on Tuesday, her motorcade pulled over to the side of the street. Instead of heading directly into the studio, the former secretary of state got out of her car to meet the republican rodent face-to-face.

“Hello, Mr. Squirrel, how are you?” she said, smiling. She then placed a copy of her book Hard Choices in his fuzzy hand, saying, “I wanted you to get you a copy of my book…I hope that you will make the hard choice and read my book.” She even threw in a compliment: “You bring a smile to a lot of people’s faces,” she said. She then shook the squirrel’s massive hand and said, “Thank you, Mr. Squirrel. Thank you so much.”

She even managed to wave politely to the crowd, thank them, and make it to the studio just in time. Clas-sy. Read more

Lunar Advertising: Japanese Company to Launch Can of Soda to the Moon

LUNAR DREAM CAPSULE PROJECT | キミの夢を、月に届けよう。

Japanese soda company Otsuka is about to take “one giant leap” for advertising.

The moon’s surface, once described by Neil Armstrong as “magnificent desolation,” is about to become a bit less desolate thanks to a 2.2-pound titanium capsule filled with “powdered sports drink and children’s dreams,” which the beverage maker, in partnership with Pittsburgh-based aerospace company Astrobiotic Technology, plans to bestow upon our lunar neighbor.

Astrobiotic is currently in competition for the $20-million Google Lunar X prize, which will be awarded to the first company to land a payload on the moon’s surface that can travel at least 1,640 feet and transmit high-definition images back to Earth. To fund such a project and to purchase a spot on a launch vehicle (which, in this case, is the Falcon 9 rocket designed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX), the company needs sponsors, and Otsuka has offered Astrobiotic a hefty half-million in exchange for a can of its Pocari Sweat sports drink acting as a stowaway. Read more

UPDATED: ‘The Oatmeal’ Cartoonist Leverages Love of Tesla Motors to Support Nikola Tesla Museum

tesla-review-hed-2014

I’m a longtime fan of The Oatmeal, and particularly appreciate how cartoonist Matt Inman exuberantly describes and animates his unbridled passion for the things he loves — his dog, grammar, the fiendishly-terrifying Mantis Shrimp, etc.

As it turns out, Inman also happens to love Tesla — both the legendary inventor and the car company — and is attempting to leverage his love and endorsement of the latter to support a museum honoring the former.

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