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Vying for Fame with a PR Stunt – By Nicole Reaney, Director, InsideOut PR

At InsideOut PR we do love a PR stunt and April Fool’s Day provides the board from which brands can dive into and test the reaction of activations. From the creative idea to timing and delivery, there are many elements that align to formulate the perfect activation.

This April some brands had a little fun with the day. From Lush launching Shower Water to quench the thirstiest hair and skin, to Hungry Jack’s Chocolate Whopper and Pringle’s Pringcoin.

Chocolate Whopper

CHOCOLATE WHOPPER. LOL. HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY.

Posted by Hungry Jack's on Friday, March 30, 2018

 

There is a degree of risk that comes with stunts. From causing offense to promoting danger, causing fear or damaging reputation. Not every brand is suitable to executing a stunt – there needs to be an alignment with its brand ethos and its target market amongst other considerations.

A few years ago a publicity stunt for Ubisoft backfired, and led to the bomb squad being called to a media office after journalists received a safe and suspicious letter that was sent to promote its new game. The company issued a formal apology following the widespread adverse publicity that transpired.

While for other brands, like Sportsbet, the very nature of the controversy its stunts generate is the primary intention for its activations. Over the years, Sportsbet has heralded a larrikin ideology – with cheeky, offensive and largescale activations leading to publicity and brand attention. From ‘Putting the Roid in Android’, to flying a 46-metre high replica of Brazil’s famous Christ the Redeemer as a hot air balloon over Melbourne ahead of the World Cup and even an offensive 15,030 square metre painting of a winking kangaroo and lion, with the slogan “Rooting for the Wallabies”.

Culture also plays a part in how far a brand can go. In Australia, humour and poking fun at ourselves is part of the ‘Aussie way’. In fact, humour is a proven tactic used to generate positive attention and brand affinity.

In a TED talk, America philosopher Dan Dennett shared the four triggers that attract people: Cute, Sexy, Sweet and Funny.

In the modern day of family, life and work stress, humour de-commercialises brands and entices the public into viewing its messaging and offering.

What do you remember brands for?

Check out Nicole’s comment on this year’s April Fool’s pranks over on Smart Company.