Pulling a marketing stunt could help you grow your recognition and show the public what your business offers

Marketing stunts are events that hope to attract attention to a brand in a surprising way. But to succeed with them, you need to be dedicated to standing out. Where can you begin?

This guide discusses successful marketing stunts, including:

  • What’s the goal of a marketing stunt?
  • How to pull a successful marketing stunt
  • Examples of successful stunts

The goal of a marketing stunt

A marketing stunt is a surprising public move that aims to earn attention from a larger audience. You can pull one for your business to spark a conversation about your products or services.

This stunt must reflect your business’s brand identity and overall values to draw positive attention. The act shows why you’re worth purchasing from and how your business helps people. 

How to pull a successful marketing stunt

If you know how to create a successful marketing stunt, you can build a strategy that earns attention. Let’s go over the essential things to include in your stunt. 

Objectives

A marketing stunt is more likely to succeed if you develop clear objectives of what you want to achieve and how many people you want to reach

The stunt should match your brand identity and the core values of your business.

Also, try to connect your stunt to a more extensive marketing campaign and strategy. For example, you might pull a stunt to draw attention to a rebrand.

Message

As you form objectives for your stunt, consider what message you want to get across. With a clear message, you can plan a stunt that reflects those intentions and tells the right story

It can also help you focus on producing the right emotional response. For example, will the stunt be serious, playful, or funny?

Timing and setting

The success of your stunt depends on the timing. For example, you might pull the stunt when you have an upcoming product release. Or you could do it around a relevant holiday.

On top of this, make sure you release your stunt and earn publicity where people within your target audience will find it

If your audience is local, you might pull something nearby your shop. But if you have a strong social media following, that might be the right place to go. 

Visuals

If you create a memorable appearance for your marketing stunt, earning people’s attention will be much easier. So consider how you can bring out attractive colours, visuals, and animation that will make people stop and listen

Call to action

The purpose of the stunt is to catch your audience’s attention. But you’ll also want to earn people’s business. So, include a call to action that brings them to your website or shop and encourages a purchasing decision. 

For example, you might add active language like ‘learn more’ and include a link or QR code.

PR plan

You’ll need to plan to earn publicity for your marketing stunt. You might reach out to relevant media sources and magazines asking them to write about your stunt.  

Plus, you could work to get people talking about your stunt on social media so it can go viral. If the public is talking, you can amplify that spark.  

You might use popular hashtags or work with influencers to build a buzz.  

Metrics

To analyse the success of your plan, be sure to measure how many people you reach and the sales you earn from it. This way, you can see what tactics work and learn what to do differently in the future. 

Examples of successful marketing stunts

Knowing what to include in your marketing stunt is one thing, but looking at successful examples will help you see what works. We’ll cover a few.

IKEA 

Source: Adweek

In 2019, IKEA created sets from famous TV shows like Friends, Stranger Things, and The Simpsons

This act showed the accessibility and versatility of the company’s furniture. In fact, it was so successful in catching people’s eyes that it boosted traffic by 50%.

Key takeaway

Though IKEA is a large company, it used its own products for this stunt. You could do something similar on a smaller scale by using your products as props. 

Morton’s Steakhouse – Influencer buzz

In 2011 a public figure, Peter Shankman, tweeted about Morton’s Steakhouse. He jokingly asked the restaurant to have a steak waiting for him when he landed at the JFK airport. 

Morton’s took full advantage of this opportunity by doing exactly that. 

Key takeaway

Similarly, you could capitalise on the unexpected and spin it into a stunt. Or you could plan something for the same impact. Consider reaching out to a small celebrity or influencer within your small business market. 

This person could post about you casually, drawing attention to your brand. Even more, you could plan a prank or joke together to create a memorable stunt. 

KFC

Source: Fit small business

In 2016, KFC created the first advertisement visible from space. This stunt supported the company’s goal to spread the word about their widely loved chicken.

It also gained a lot of attention from the press because it was the first of its kind. 

Key takeaway

Think about what you can do that’s new and different. The more unique your stunt, the easier it will be to catch people’s attention. For example, you may want to research your market to find a record you could break.

Sony 

Source: Creativebloq

In 2020, Sony changed signs for the London Underground with symbols of the iconic PlayStation button labels. In time for the PS5 release, these visuals developed a presence around the city and built anticipation. 

Key takeaway

The timing of this marketing stunt was perfect because it built publicity for the brand just as their new product dropped. It was also smart to capitalise on something familiar and widespread like the London Underground signs. 

Similarly, you might be able to twist something broadly recognisable to promote your brand, such as a logo. Then, piggyback off a large event or setting with an established crowd, like public transport or a sports game.

Bring your small business marketing to life 

With a successful marketing stunt, you can expand your audience to earn more for your business. Remember that it needs to have a clear message and be well planned, timed, and placed. 

From there, you might wonder what other marketing efforts to try. Why not check out our article on how to run a competition on social media?

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