While I worry that most consumers and business executives alike seem to think PR is little more than stunts, some stunts ARE worth taking note of.
Today’s guest post comes from Bradley Taylor* who knows a thing, or two, about both the automotive world and world-class stunts.
Here’s his list of five recent auto PR stunts that generated worldwide publicity AND held true to the individual car’s core brand values.
So, what’s your take on stunts in general and these five in particular? Oh, and please: no multi-tasking while you read this blog. Repman is all about safety first, last and always:
There is something captivating about waiting impatiently for the next, newest, and greatest model of your favourite car to be released for the public to view and purchase. It seems like some car brands are willing to go well above and beyond what is the norm to get noticed in the industry today. We have all heard the really catchy jingles, and seen the funny commercials; however, what about the publicity stunts that some of the most popular brands are willing to do to get noticed in this very competitive market? Some of the most popular car brands have done some crazy things in order to get noticed or press coverage. Here are five of the most wild automotive PR stunts that got worldwide coverage.
In 2012, action sports legend Rob Dyrdek modified a Chevrolet Sonic to make it a stunt car for the PR benefit of Chevrolet. The Chevrolet Sonic was decorated to a similar design of a race car and was taken out to a racetrack. In the middle of the racetrack was a huge kick flip ramp that was designed to make the car flip in mid air over a seriously oversized skateboard. The flip was successful and the crowd went wild, gaining Chevrolet the attention of the public.
Escape the Map
In 2011, Mercedes-Benz launched an interactive game that was intended to gain the public eye of a majority of the population. This was an interactive contest where people would play the game in an effort to potentially win a new car. What better way to get the public’s attention than to offer them the chance to play a game in order to win a free car? This definitely helped with the launch of their new version of the Escape and gained Mercedes-Benz a lot of publicity.
Lending Lamborghinis to the Italian Police
A couple of years ago, Lamborghini lent their Gallardo model to the police in Italy. This is one of the fastest cars in the world, and police forces around the country have been investing in this idea. The police in Italy were trained on how to drive the 560 bhp vehicles in the event of a high-speed chase. A really high-speed chase, that is. The police in Dubai have a number of supercars in their arsenal, and the Lamborghini is just one of them. Could this be a trend for other countries in the coming years?
Honda’s Professional Live Sky-drive
On live TV, Honda hired a bunch of professional skydivers to help them get some publicity. The professional skydivers were tasked with the goal of spelling out the Honda logo as they fell in the sky. This was a huge feat that was aired on live television and had the Honda name on the tip of everyone’s tongue for a long time. Honda sure does know how to get the world talking about their brand in a positive light. Watch the video.
Water Car Stunt
Virgin Mobile’s owner, Richard Branson, has become well known for his part in PR stunts to get the attention of the world. In order to promote his company he drove an amphibious car across the English Channel. Not only did he do this crazy PR stunt; however, he accomplished this in record-breaking time. He is well known for being the person to take PR stunts to the next level, and he certainly did not disappoint with this one.
When it comes to pulling stunts in order to gain the public eye, it is important to have a stunt that is planned out and thematically executed in a way that will bring positive light to the brand and the organisation as a whole. There is a saying that goes something like this, “Any press is good press”. That is not always the case, and when it comes to getting good press, companies could greatly benefit from following the lead of companies like these.
They constructed a positive PR stunt that gained the public’s attention and held it for a good amount of time without sacrificing the reputation of the brand. It is a win-win for the audience and the brand if a positive publicity stunt can be pulled off without putting anyone in a negative light.
* Bradley Taylor is sometimes found writing about cars, mobile computing, iPad applications and updates from industry leaders like Mercedes and Jardine Motors. Outside of writing he loves Formula One and he also maintains a passion for photography. Catch him on Google Plus.