Name changes, giant royal babies and failed marriage proposals – the year so far in PR stunts

Name changes, giant royal babies and failed marriage proposals – the year so far in PR stunts

From Morrisons renaming its Wimbledon store Murrisons in support of Andy Murray and other British Wimbledon 2013 hopefuls to Paddy Power getting four grown men to dress as giant babies to celebrate the birth of the royal baby, 2013 has already seen some fairly unique PR stunts but how does digital help take your message to the masses?

Staging newsworthy, and more importantly, unusual events that will intrigue the media is the key to gaining that all important coverage for your brand. Valuable photo opportunities can be utilised by journalists to produce an interesting story for their readers, videos can go viral and before you know it, everyone is talking about your brand.

Recently, a video appeared online, showing an awkward marriage proposal complete with Mariachi band in a Dubai shopping mall – ending with the woman walloping her boyfriend with a ukulele! The video was viewed 100,000 times just after being uploaded before being revealed as a stunt by Cadbury as part of its Not So Sweet campaign for Bournville. The accompanying Twitter campaign encouraging users to tweet their #NotSoSweet moments to be made into equally awkward videos, ensured consumers remained engaged with the brand well after the initial video was released.

Another story that spread quickly online was tennis star Maria Sharapova’s intension to temporarily change her surname to Sugarpova; to generate interest in her fledgling confectionary range ahead of the US Open. And, although the name switch never actually happened, the story generated masses of coverage. Countless journalists reported the story and the number of tweets mentioning Sugarpova jumped from 50 to 9,000 within the first day alone, according to

Some brands simply take inspiration from social media trends. British Airways, taking note of the success of the likes of Pinterest, Instagram and other visually rich media, launched Picture Your Holiday. Users can scroll through an array of photos from various locations to choose their favourites, creating a visual wish list which BA then turns into holiday suggestions. The suggestions can be shared via social media and it provides direct links back to BA’s point of sale – a simple but clever way to get consumers interested.

It is becoming more and more important to ensure PR stunts are digital friendly; allowing content to be shared easily and your message seen by the masses.

Whether it’s a world record attempt, dressing up as a giant baby or simply using social media to your advantage, PR stunts can gain some great coverage and generate interest in your brand.

So, what will your next stunt be?