Plan A Publicity Stunt: A Guide

Plan A Publicity Stunt: A Guide

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What Is A Publicity Stunt

Publicity stunts are generated by a certain campaign or promotion (initiated by you) and are intended to raise awareness for your business.

Press could result in the form of TV coverage, write-ups in local newspapers, mentions in magazines and of course social media.

Key Takeaways

  • Publicity stunts are organized by your brand
  • Successful publicity stunts should be something unusual that catches the public eye
  • When executed right, a publicity stunt can cause a huge spike in popularity and exposure for your brand

Understanding Publicity Stunts

If you're looking to get immediate buzz around your brand, planning a publicity stunt is right up your alley.

Sometimes, brands need to create their own news - and the best part is, you don't need to pay for the media coverage you get as a result of your stunt.

If you plan something unique and exciting enough, the media will write all about you, free of charge.

Here are a few different ways you can grab the medias attention:

  • Do something entertaining that people want to read about
  • Engage in some friendly competition with another brand
  • Be a disruptive force in your industry to get some buzz (do something your competition is not doing)
  • Work with a big influencer or celebrity and have them promote your brand or attend one of your events

Stunts are also amazing for UGC (user generated content). Everyone carries a phone with a camera on them, and if you're able to catch their attention, they're likely to record and share this online.

Real World Examples: Plan A Publicity Stunt

1. Benefit Cosmetics

Benefit Cosmetics decided to promote their products by creating a "brow mobile" truck that was seen all over the streets in Ireland.

For a place usually known for their trucks, this publicity stunt certainly got the attention it deserved.


The stunt quickly became a social media frenzy - gaining tons of shares and discussions all over Instagram and Twitter.

In addition to the press coverage, Benefit cosmetics also gained a 60% share of the U.Ks £20m market of brows.

What did they do well? A lot.

  • Their stunt was very instagrammable and gained a ton of UGC
  • They created something unique and never been done before in this specific area.
  • The company was able to explore the streets** to find new customers,** versus staying in one place and making customers come to them. Brilliant.

2. Tinder's Adopt A Dog Campaign

In 2014, Tinder launched a campaign called "Swipe Right To Adopt A Dog."

The stunt was aimed at connecting single dog parents with dogs available for adoptions.


Why did it work?

  • The stunt put the company in a positive light amid a time where they didn't have the best reputation
  • This charitable effort set them apart from all the other dating apps and helped them stand out
  • The stunt gained over 2,000 matches in just week
  • Everyone loves dogs, especially the act of saving dogs, and now customers associate Tinder with this sort of heroic act.


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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