Crazy Publicity Stunts That Actually Worked

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Written By Farman Ullah

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Publicity stunts are by definition intended to raise awareness, encourage viral sharing, and secure media attention. Although there is a significant likelihood that these events will generate a lot of news, the potential reward makes the risk worthwhile. Here are some of the top publicity stunt examples from which you may take inspiration for a PR stunt to raise good brand recognition for your company.

Oral-B Drone Deliveries Publicity Stunt

Early on in the global epidemic, Oral-B devised a publicity stunt with the goal of ensuring the safe delivery of their brand-new, cutting-edge Oral-B ion toothbrushes. A fleet of Oral-B’s special delivery robots and drones were dispatched in August 2023 to distribute toothbrushes to the media and influencers. The ion toothbrush was sent in a number of deliveries over the course of four days all around the United Kingdom, with zero human touch.

Despite the widespread fear of the epidemic, this Oral-B PR campaign example was successful. It displayed the ideal fusion of technological prowess and resourcefulness in responding to and adjusting to social distancing rules put in place by the government. This public relations ploy finally succeeded by giving people hope for a new normal among the general concern.

Red Bull’s New Moon Event

Red Bull is renowned for its outrageous events and stunts that garner media attention. For instance, on March 20, 2023, it held a New Moon Party when participants leapt out of helicopters over Los Angeles’ tallest skyscraper while wearing wingsuits.

Surprisingly, by Red Bull standards, this advertising effort wasn’t all that outrageous. The jumpers, which had a sparkler mechanism, descended around dusk, giving those on the ground the impression that comets or UFOs were approaching the city, which generated a sensation.

Despite Red Bull’s reputation as the “extreme child” of the coffee industry, even brand aficionados failed to predict this one. It not only made headlines but also solidified the public perception of its brand as being thrillingly risky.

Visible Mobile’s Accidental Typo PR Stunt

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Visible Mobile’s Accidental Typo PR Stunt

Simply said, a publicity stunt is anything done to get notice from the public, and occasionally that happens by mistake. Visible Mobile’s commercial first appeared to be quite similar to any other mobile phone advertisement you may see scattered around a city. Further examination revealed that this advertisement claimed limitless massages even though the majority of other suppliers include unlimited messaging with their services.

Despite the fact that publicity gimmicks should ideally be prepared in advance, Visible Mobile seized the chance to capitalize on a misspelling for positive press. Visible requested the aid of masseuses and gave free massages to onlookers rather than brushing it off as a typo.

The firm admitted to making a mistake and started providing pop-up massage stands so that people could laugh about it. But more crucially, it contributed to the development of a positive brand perception—something that mobile service providers aren’t renowned for and almost ever achieve.

Virgin Galactic Plans to Launch Space Flights

Virgin succeeds to the point of entering space, while the airline industry struggles to set itself apart and build a powerful brand. It will start launching commercial space missions in May 2023 right now.

The introduction of the programmer and the idea that the general public may go to space have drawn a lot of interest. In fact, the news that several famous people had already signed up to travel to space boosted the excitement.

Although this public relations ploy may not have an immediate positive financial impact on Virgin Company, it does serve to increase brand awareness and foster the airline’s reputation as the one that can take you beyond your wildest dreams.

Advertisement for KFC that can be seen from space

In 2023, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) had the amazing idea to produce the first piece of advertising that could be viewed from space. Even though the majority of people would never see the advertisement in person, never alone from an aero plane, it sparked a lot of conversation once it was put on Google Maps and the Google Sightseeing Blog.

Why it worked: Because of the extensive media coverage this bizarre marketing ploy received, KFC was able to maintain its position as a titan of the fast food industry. Long-standing businesses like KFC must work hard to stay at the front of consumers’ minds since consumer fatigue is frequent. With this smart marketing ploy, KFC proved that their fried chicken is superior wherever you go in the universe.

The Attempt of Richard Branson to Fly Around the World in a Hot Air Balloon

The renowned Virgin Airlines CEO, Richard Branson, has established himself over the years as a master of the PR stunt, pulling off several practical jokes that have helped the airline get media attention. However, a voyage around the world in a Virgin hot air balloon as opposed to a Virgin aero plane was one of his more audacious achievements.

Why did it succeed? The first attempt to travel in a hot air balloon across the Atlantic, if not the entire world, captivated many people because most people didn’t think such a voyage was possible. The deed ended in a collision, adding fuel to the fire and making for sensational headlines that the media and the rest of the world enjoy. This would have appeared to be bad for Virgin, but it really had the opposite effect, proving that flying is a very safe mode of transportation for travelers.

Flies at the Eichborn Book Fair

At the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, Eichborn Publishers used a unique strategy to get customers to their exhibit stand. Fly tags with its name and booth number were attached to them. Nobody likes it when flies land on them, but nobody has ever seen a fly with a message attached to it. This caught people’s interest in the eccentric publisher.

Flying messengers made sense for a book publisher and seemed like something out of a science fiction movie. During the book expo, the publisher received a lot of attention and expressed a lot of interest in the uncommon notion. It’s a great illustration of thinking creatively to create buzz with few resources.

Richard Branson’s Publicity Stunt around the World

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Richard Branson’s Publicity Stunt around the World

Richard Branson, the well-known CEO of Virgin Airlines, has established himself as something of a PR stunt guru and adventurer over the years by taking part in various pranks that garnered media attention for the company. But one of his boldest exploits entailed flying around the globe in a Virgin Airlines hot air balloon rather than an aircraft.

Why it worked many found the first hot air balloon effort to span the Atlantic and the rest of the world to be interesting because most people didn’t think such a journey was feasible. The stunt resulted in a collision, adding even more press gasoline to the fire and generating sensational headlines about people almost dying. It might seem that this would be a negative reflection on Virgin Airlines, but the reality was quite the reverse, demonstrating that flying is the most secure form of transportation for travelers.

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Frank’s RedHot Digital Spin the Bottle

They chose to webcast a sizable Spin the Bottle party with a ton of special prizes as part of Frank’s RedHot 100th Celebration. The game featured truths, surprises, and dares for the fans rather than kissing.

On February 2, 2023, the night of the Super Bowl, they broadcast the livestream. Any viewer could take part by answering questions with the competition’s official hashtag. Celebrities joined in the fun, including well-known figures like Donnie Wahlberg, and it was well-liked by fans.

Frank’s RedHot party game had virtually every viewer hooked throughout the 2023Big Game, and their supporters dominated brand-specific Twitter conversations without a single commercial. Everyone wanted to take home the top prize, which was $36,500 ($1 for each day Frank’s had been on the market).


These successful PR stunt examples demonstrate how publicity events may help companies sell themselves and reach wider audiences. Create your own campaign by coming up with an intriguing and original idea, formulating a plan, and distributing press releases to media outlets. Use a trusted distribution provider, like releases, to send a press release for a quicker, more cost-effective, and less dangerous option to gain press coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best tips for getting PR?

It’s difficult to obtain public relations, or PR, coverage, but there are techniques to increase your chances of having your story covered by the media without resorting to outrageous publicity stunts. This encompasses anything from knowing what is noteworthy to planning an event that will garner attention, fostering a favorable brand perception, developing relationships with journalists, and being familiar with the press release process.

What is a press release?

A press release is a statement given to the media that provides a 300–500 word summary of a news item or event. To pique the interest of the media, they must adhere to a standard press release structure and be widely disseminated.
Make sure to send out a press release to the media before you carry out your publicity stunt. Discover step-by-step instructions for writing a press release that will be picked up, along with a free template you can use while you do so.

What are the best outlets for distributing a press release?

EIN Press wire and Newswire are two excellent news release delivery providers. Depending on how frequently you send press releases, how many outlets you want to reach, your budget, and your target media channels, you may choose the ideal distribution channel for your company or event. Additionally, it depends on if you also require distribution; in this case, releases is our top recommendation.

What is the definition of a press release?

A press release is a statement provided to the media that fully outlines a news item or event. It typically has between 300 and 800 words on one page. It is often advised that you use a template to compose your press release because they have a predetermined framework. You must distribute your press release after you’ve written it in order to get the media’s attention. We demonstrate how to construct a news release in this essay on press releases.

What are the most effective PR strategies?

Although obtaining exposure is difficult, there are a number of things you can do to increase your chances. This includes everything from figuring out what newsworthy is and creating an event that will get people talking and reacting, to building a positive brand image, connecting with journalists, and figuring out the best ways to distribute your press release.

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