Why do companies do these PR stunts, to stand out in the crowd. That is really what PR is all about, yes it is communicating a story, but it is about creating a buzz around your brand.
Celebrities have been known to do them, consider Katie Price and her Mucky Mansion, or her bankruptcy in 2019.
Launching new products is always good PR. Apple launching the new latest and greatest iPhone is a good way to make a noise. But it is not exactly a PR stunt, it is more like the bread and butter that companies use to get PR coverage. Most businesses/celebrities do not have the new products to make a noise, so they go into stunts.
A great PR stunt that springs to mind is the Burger King advertising campaign hiding a Big Mac behind their Whopper. McDonalds is their biggest rival and they stuck their tongue out, when it was noticed it suddenly became a PR golden nugget.
Katie Price after years of having her son Harvey suddenly comes into the media to approach one of her ex husbands to get ‘more involved’ amid her financial woes.
There would be numerous other examples of how companies and brands use situations to their advantage
A great example would be one of the episodes of Dragons Den aired in 2019. One of the grandchildren of the Cadburys Dynasty approached the dragons for investment into a new chocolate brand. The sticking point was around the entrepreneur using his family name on the brand (since the family are no longer part of the Cadbury’s brand). Peter Jones said this would be a PR dream to get into a legal issue with Cadbury’s.
McDonalds is said to be bringing out Spicy chicken nuggets during January 2020; however nothing is on the McDonalds website about it, but all over the news. This is a classic PR stunt!
The classic PR stunt that went horribly wrong in 2019 has to be Prince Andrew going on TV to account for his dealings with Jeffry Epstein.
UK PR agencies are always looking for newsworthy stories and often dream up PR stunts as a way of getting media coverage for their customers. This could result in the good, the bad or the ugly of media coverage.