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Stunts

FIFA Warns Brands to Back Away from World Cup Promo Campaigns…or Else!

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Is he a turtle or a squirrel with a bedazzled forehead?

The FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is looking more and more like the NFL each day.

Just as the gridiron folks will quickly sic their lawyers on anyone bold enough to combine the words “Super” and “Bowl”, this week the world’s top soccer organization issued a statement essentially warning all brands that don’t happen to be official sponsors of the upcoming 2014 World Cup that they will be punished if they use the event for promotional purposes.

While the organization’s spokespeople didn’t get specific, they clearly had a couple of examples in mind…

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Del Monte Gives Fans the Private Chef Treatment

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We’ve talked about the importance of engaging with your followers on social; here’s one particularly lavish way to reward them.

In short, Del Monte partnered with “on-demand at-home chef service” Kitchensurfing to deliver a surprise meal to 75 Facebook fans. These fans, who’ve interacted with the brand and happened to be in the market for the Kitchensurfing service, each got a special “swag bag” delivery and a home visit from a professional chef—who proceeded to cook a “customized three-course meal created with Del Monte fruit and vegetables” for them and their families.

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Australian Bank Celebrates Sydney’s Gay Mardi Gras with ‘GAYTM’ Machines

On the much, much lighter side, here’s a stunt by an Australian bank that we’ll call bold.

Today we learned that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival bears only a passing resemblance to the one in New Orleans: it’s better dressed and the dancing is far more accomplished.

We also learned that ANZ, the continent’s third-largest bank and one of the event’s sponsors along with Google, Durex, Finlandia and more, sought to earn a little media attention by adding a bit of flair to some of its tamer automated tellers.

We’ll say the stunt worked; it did win the attention of one George Takei, his social media managers and his millions of followers.

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Netflix to Amazon: ‘We’ve Got Bigger Drones Than That’

We appreciate Netflix’s efforts to play the “spunky upstart” role by poking fun at its rivals and we agree that Amazon makes for a more reasonable target than HBO, because you will lose if you try to compare House of Cards to The Sopranos or Game of Thrones. The drone delivery service spoof making its way around the Internets this morning isn’t the funniest thing ever, but it scores a couple of chuckles while confirming that Netflix doesn’t have either of its rivals’ production budgets.

The stunt mocking a stunt does make one good point: “rush[ing] unproven technology to market” could be the subheading of both the drone and “wearable” tech movements.

And when it comes to the Netflix browsing experience most of us know, The Onion offers a shockingly accurate summary:

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7-Foot Hedgehog Promotes New David Attenborough Nature Series

We love this “massive hedgehog appears in London park” stunt for several reasons, first and foremost being the fact that we would watch Sir David Attenborough read the phone book just to geek out over his pronunciations. Also:

  • It makes the world’s least family-frendly pet look a bit more personable
  • It’s based on research (a study found that more than 25% of Britons have never seen a hedgehog in the wild)
  • It’s a great way to sell us on the concept behind the series Natural Curiosities, which features crazy facts about animals you thought you knew

We also appreciate the artistry here: sculptor Andy Billet says that he and his assistants “…spent weeks replicating the skin tones and spikes to make the build as lifelike as possible” with the help of  ”2,000 soft wood spikes and fake fur produced from a combination of willow and coconut fibre.”

Good show, we’re sure.

[H/T creative agency Taylor Herring and Rich Leigh of PR Examples]

Yes, Groupon Trolled Everyone with Its ‘Alexander Hamilton’ President’s Day Campaign

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To the many, many media outlets that covered Groupon‘s Friday press release announcing its decision to run a President’s Day campaign honoring “former President” Alexander Hamilton and “wondered” whether it was all a joke:

  • Are you perhaps not familiar with this company and its signature promotional style?
  • Was your question even more disingenuous than the press release that inspired it?

The deal, created to “honor” the non-president by giving customers a Hamilton ($10) off each order of $40 or more at local businesses, should have been good enough on its own—but of course Groupon had to get as much attention as possible…

We’re still a little surprised that anyone questioned whether this was a serious campaign, given the overly earnest (red flag) language in the press release.

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Starbucks Finally Responds to Comedian’s ‘Dumb Starbucks’ Stunt

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The curtain has been lifted, but the mystery remains—and the coffee is no longer free.

After the Internet pulled a collective WTF this weekend over L.A.’s brand-new “Dumb Starbucks” outlet, comedian Nathan Fielder officially claimed responsibility for the stunt yesterday just in time for the Los Angeles health department to go all “Dealbreaker” on a pop-up more viral than the West 4th Street McDonald’s.

Seems Fielder created the fake outlet for a skit set to appear on the second season of his Comedy Central show Nathan for You, which apparently features the Canadian helping ”struggling small businesses to make it in a competitive market” by giving them the worst possible advice.

He claims it’s all real in the straight-laced video after the jump.

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Chobani Bear Rages Through Streets of NYC in Search of Yogurt

New Yorkers just can’t catch a break. They can no longer be assured of turning a corner without being confronted by a demon baby in a runaway stroller, a hoard of zombies grabbing at their feet from beneath a sidewalk, or, now, a bear with an insatiable hunger for natural food (specifically yogurt) expressing its fiery rage toward non-natural edibles.

Greek yogurt maker Chobani is the latest brand to take its guerilla marketing tactics to the streets of NYC. As a follow-up to its Super Bowl ad, which featured a bear in desperate search of a wholesome, natural snack, the company set a similarly-motivated animatronic bear loose on the city. As you might imagine, the available street food options were found seriously lacking, sending the bear into a frustrated rage

Pretzel stand, gone! Hot dog stand, demolished!

But, we suppose the good news is that even if every less-than-healthy food vendor were to be put out of business in fear of attracting the bear’s wrath, hungry folks on their lunch breaks could always seek out a nutritious, delicious yogurt.

 

The Walking Dead Is Everywhere Promoting Tonight’s Premiere, May Have Broken Laws In the Process

TWD premiereIf you’re on social media, then you’ve seen the promos for tonight’s mid-season premiere of The Walking DeadTheir Twitter feed has been lit up with reminders and suggestions for days. So has the Instagram page, which is also promoting a Twitter chat with Norman Reedus* (aka Daryl Dixon) at 8:30pm ET tonight, a half hour before the premiere starts. Five cast members appeared on Conan this weekAnd, of course, the Facebook page is wall-to-wall walkers.

There are games and quizzes on the website to get fans involved. One such game scientifically determined that I would make it at least a year and a half if zombies took over. And the show was brought to life on the streets of New York when zombies scared the mess out of people walking in Union Square by grasping at feet from beneath the sidewalk.

But officials saw footage of the stunt and now an MTA spokesperson says they’ve turned it over to the NYPD. Doesn’t the MTA know! There are no laws in the zombie apocalypse!

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PR Vet Plans Hunger Strike to Protest Industry’s Lack of Diversity

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First, the indisputable fact: PR has a diversity problem. This is not breaking news.

PRSA and other organizations have long attempted to encourage greater diversity within the industry via various outreach and education programs, but as MWW SVP and PRSA national chair Joe Cohen told PR Week, “It’s no secret that ethnic and racial minorities are underrepresented…the actual numbers are staggering.”

One guru, however, has chosen to take action: today we received a release from Mike Paul—better known as The Reputation Doctor—announcing his plans to stage a two-day hunger strike protesting the lack of diversity in “PR Firms, Advertising Firms & Corporate Communications Divisions of Leading Corporations.”

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