PRNewser loves a good publicity stunt, and in our opinion a list of the top 50 isn’t nearly enough, especially when done from a British perspective.
U.K. consumer PR agency Taylor Herring assembled their picks for the best of the best, and we can’t blame them for putting in a few of their own such as floating an fake iceberg with polar bear down the Thames to promote the launch of eden TV (reaching 260 million people), and flying a Spider Pig to promote the Simpsons Movie DVD. According to that case study, “we employed a marksman to be on hand to take the pig down in case it attempted an escape”. Now that’s thorough planning.
The list is chock full of one-off classics such as the Beatles’ final concert atop the Apple Records office, the Britney / Madonna makeout, and the Blair Witch Project, perhaps the most successful stunt dollar for dollar (incidentally created by Mike Monello who went on to found Camfire, a firm I freelanced for last summer).
Other stunts went on to become institutions like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, the Tour de France and even the FBI’s Most Wanted List. The list doesn’t include the craven classic “Torches of Freedom,” a stunt created by the father of PR Edward Bernays to get women to take up smoking.