May 13, 2014

How to make stunts work? Film them.

By Andrew No comments


We’ve been seeing an increase in viral videos of stunts hitting the Youtubes these days, and whilst coming up with some ideas for a client of ours, something occurred to me.

When stunts were all the rage, oh let’s say 6 or so years ago, it was all about placing your stunt to get maximum visibility and hitting as many people as possible. Make it big, get people to notice and PR the socks off it. Trafalgar Square was a particular favourite, so let’s use that as our example.

Trafalgar square receives somewhere in the region of  300,000 pairs of feet over the course of a working day. Our installation is up for 3 hours, 100,00 people, give or take. Let’s then assume two thirds of those people look up from their phones and see the stunt, then lets say a generous half of those people investigate and find out more.

So 33,000 ish people interact with a brand stunt in Trafalgar square over 3 hours, not bad. But let’s not forget the cost, we won’t got through the figures but needless to say, erecting a giant model of Thunderbird 1 in the middle of Trafalgar square is not cheap. OK so you can throw in the coverage and reach of the PR, but you’d struggle to get this story outside of London. So lets guestimate that you’ll touch a million people (now I’m really getting generous).

Now take this cracking “push for drama” stunt done by TNT, you’ve probably all seen it.

Shot in a small square in Belgium, cheap , footfall let’s say around 10,000 on a Saturday? Did you count how many people interacted with it? Five! Five engaged members of the public were needed to create that video. We don’t see the endless waiting for someone to push the button, they may have had to shoot this over a number of days. But the way it’s shot and edited gives the impression of a successful stunt. Then look at the hits, approaching 47 MILLION!

In short, stunts as they were, are dead. Stunts these days are simply excellent content for viral videos.