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Stunts

Airbnb Goes Grassroots With ‘Us vs. Them’ Damage Control Campaign

We might almost feel bad for Airbnbairbnb thanks to its appearance in an endless stream of negative headlines if the company–and its ideological partner Uber–weren’t also responsible for so many think pieces about “the sharing economy.”

If the news is so bad, then why is the company’s estimated value somewhere around $10 billion–which is, as The New York Times reminded us today, more than the total worth of Hyatt Hotels Corporation?

The answer, as far as we can tell, involves the appeal of staying somewhere for cheap and a strategy focused on casting the company’s legal struggles as a case of “The People” versus “The Man”–said man in this case being New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

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Coke Makes Rainbows for South Africa

Need an antidote to the sad, ridiculous, ridiculously sad racism playing out in the news here in America?

Check out how Coca-Cola literally brought rainbows to the people of South Africa on the eve of Freedom Day, the 20th anniversary of its first democratic election when Nelson Mandela was elected President. The term “rainbow nation” was coined by Mandela’s friend Archbishop Desmond Tutu to describe the diverse country emerging under the leadership of the African National Congress after the end of Apartheid.

The stunt was developed by FCB South Africa, Johannesburg for Coke with the help of “Rainbow Maker” Fred Stern.

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Miss America Defends Student Suspended for Asking Her to Prom

Miss NYLast Thursday, the current Miss America, Nina Davuluri, was set to visit Pennsylvania’s Central York High School. Her purpose, as the first-ever Miss America of Indian descent, was to spread a message of diversity.

But student Patrick Farves had a different purpose in mind, and planned on utilizing the beauty queen’s presence at his school’s assembly to secure himself the holy grail of all prom dates — Miss America herself.

When administrators heard rumors of Farves’ plan, they warned him not to follow through with what would undoubtedly be a major disruption, but by that time, as Farves’ told Reuters, “my mind was already set. I was already in the zone.”

During the assembly, Farves, plastic flower in hand, approached Ms. Davuluri and asked her to be his date to prom, after which the crowd of students dissolved into laughter and cheers. The school’s administration, however, was less than amused and assigned Farves a three-day suspension. Read more

WATCH: Netflix Goes to Prom, Proves Being a ‘Third Wheel’ Can be Epic

Call me old fashioned, but there’s just something totally un-romantic about propositioning a potential prom date via Twitter. That is, unless you’re courting a major company, not a classmate.

Seventeen-year-old Muthana Sweis, a student at Marist High School in Chicago, sent out the following tweet in January:

Hey @netflix if this gets 1,000 retweets will you go to my junior prom with me?— Muthana Sweis (@muthanasweis) January 30, 2014

In an appropriately-gushing response, Netflix accepted, tweeting:

We said yes! We’re third wheeling to #Prom2014 with @muthanasweis and his date: https://t.co/0AQKYrljxj— Netflix US (@netflix) March 28, 2014

So how exactly does Netlix “third wheel” it to prom? Well, for one thing, by providing some serious wheels.

Sweis got to choose between a few different TV-themed rides, and ended up selecting a classic ’50s Buick from “Grease” and a chauffeur dressed as John Travolta’s character, Danny. Oh, and for good measure, he also got wear a James Bond-esque tux. Read more

Jack White Will Make ‘The World’s Fastest Released Record’ On April 19

jack white posterYessss! Jack White is coming out with some new music on April 19.

Here’s the kicker: he’s going to record it at 10 am, making a limited edition version of the title song from his new album “Lazaretto,” then it’ll be immediately made into records (like actual records), then the 45s will be taken back to Third Man Records in Nashville and sold to fans on the spot.

“As long as there are fans in line waiting to buy the single, United will continue to press and deliver them to Third Man to sell. Even if it takes all day,” it says on the Third Man website.

Fans can buy tickets to watch it all go down and hear what could be the final concert for Whirlwind Heat (will they re-enact this video?!).

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How Much Do We Need to Worry About Offending People?

According to Frank PR founder Graham Goodkind, the answer is “very little, if at all.

His point is that–returning, once again, to that old cliche about good and bad publicity–complaints and even outright bans are signs that a campaign is working because it’s attracting attention. Risk is simply something that we must learn to handle.

Here’s an example: it’s hard to imagine a more potentially disastrous campaign than one looking to unite customers in India and Pakistan. Yet Coke’s 2013 stunt seems to have gone off without a hitch:

Yes, this was a well-produced, well-contained campaign by one of the world’s largest companies, but it speaks to Goodkind’s point: we need to learn to expect blowback.

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OkCupid Blocks Firefox to Protest CEO’s Opposition to Marriage Equality

Anyone who has recently attempted to access dating site OkCupid using a Firefox browser has been greeted with the following message:

okcupid-firefox-boycott-hed-2014

This is a statement that’s pretty hard to miss–not only does it reach every single Firefox user attempting to log in to the dating service, but it calls attention to the inequality in question by literally blocking people from seeking companionship with the same ease and freedom as others.

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We Smell Dead People in New Walking Dead Trade Group Stunt

Oh, The Walking Dead. We still can’t quite get over your hilariously fake Southern accents, but we certainly admire your ability to inspire stunts like this one:

For the record, this clip is not endorsed by AMC.

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Your ‘Alternate Reality Bus Stop’ Stunt of the Week

We’re not 100% sure how this tech toy helps sell Pepsi Max, why it doesn’t involve Beyoncé, or whether anyone would truly believe eyes that “see” a tiger strolling along a London sidewalk.

But it’s still a pretty cool “experiental marketing” stunt, right?

Someone certainly had fun designing it, at least. And unlike last year’s viral “Jeff Gordon takes terrified car salesman on test drive” clip, there’s no debate over whether this one is real.

‘Miracle Machine’ That Turns Water into Wine Isn’t Real: Actually Elaborate Stunt for Nonprofit

Wine To Water | MiracleIf you were one of the many thousands who were super stoked about the Miracle Machine that can turn water into fine wine in just a few days, we hate to burst your bubble, but that feat will have to be left to the big guy upstairs after all — the machine was a hoax, but before you get too upset, you were fooled for a really good cause (and you can still get some wine out of the deal).

A video released a few weeks ago featured an elaborate story and presentation of the Miracle Machine, which would supposedly allow you to make high quality wine at home in just three days. The video went viral and has been viewed more than 200,000 times. All this attention has created the perfect environment for the people behind the video–the nonprofit Wine to Water–to release their punch line: the gadget doesn’t exist, but there’s a major world issue that does.

“While we can’t turn water into wine,” admits the big-reveal video (below), “we can turn wine into water.” For ten years, Wine to Water has been using wine-related events like tastings and wine sales as fundraisers to help get clean drinking water to people who need it most. To date, the organization has provided clean water and sanitation to over 250,000 people in 17 countries. Read more

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