Top Publicity Stunts of 2012

In no particular order, here are some of my favourite publicity stunts of 2012.

The Most Exclusive Page On Facebook

Grey Poupon generated a buzz on Facebook by creating the most exclusive page on the social network. Instead of clamouring for fans like every other brand in the world, the mustard brand turned away everyone they deemed not to have high enough taste to be their fan. Adverblog revealed that “users who want to become a fan of Grey Poupon’s Facebook page will have to apply for membership through an application on the page called The Society Of Good Taste.

Paddy Power’s Lucky Pants

Paddy Power are the masters of the publicity stunt and generated lots of column inches by sponsoring Nicklas Bendtner, the Danish striker during EURO 2012, last summer. After scoring against Portugal, Bendtner dropped his shorts to reveal his lucky pants and highlighting the bookmaker’s logo. UEFA choose to punish Bendtner by fining €80,000 which generated even more publicity for Paddy Power. Bendtner wasn’t out of pocket as the bookmaker paid him €100,000 for the stunt – lucky pants indeed!


Flipping The Table On The Paparazzi

Emma Stone And Andrew Garfield turned the tables on the paparazzi and raised awareness for two charities, the Worldwide Orphans Foundation and Gilda’s Club of New York City. As the paparazzi waited for the two celebs outside a restaurant they were having lunch in, they took a moment to write a note on some napkins before leaving and holding them across their faces as they left. Check out the pic below from FameFlynet Pictures below.

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield

Barter With Bacon

Josh Sankey set out to drive across America with no money and only bacon to use as currency. An inspired stunt by Oscar Meyer to promote their new ‘Butcher Thick Cut Bacon’. Josh Sankey explains it much better.

It’s Rude To Talk

In the age of the smartphone, it’s rare that a meal out isn’t interrupted by someone checking their email or Twitter account. Eva Restaurant in Los Angeles decided to reward its patrons with good manners by offering customers a 5% discount if their phones with the receptionist for the duration of the meal. Just goes to show that you don’t need millions to make headlines.

Use 404 Pages To Find Missing Children

The NotFound project aims to raise awareness of missing children across the European Union, where thousands of kids go missing every year, which uses the ‘page not found’ section to publish a picture of a missing child. The video below explains the project.

Sky Tweets

Not content with making waves during euro 2012, Paddy Power also ambushed the Ryder Cup by launching a ‘sky tweet’ campaign in support of Team Europe. A selection of tweets submitted by fans were ‘sky-written’ by stunt pilots flying at 10,000ft in the first campaign of its kind. Here’s a video case study.

Hotel Replaces Bible With Fifty Shades Of Grey

The Damson Dene Hotel generated worldwide coverage by replacing copies of the Bible in its rooms with Fifty Shades of Grey. NBC News reported that the hotel owner Jonathan Denby “had been pondering for a long time what to do with the Gideons Bibles that had been placed in the rooms by the previous proprietors. He decided that in a modern secular society it was ‘wholly inappropriate’ to keep a religious book in people’s private bedrooms, so the search was on for a replacement. ‘Everybody is reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ we thought it would be a hospitable thing to do, to have this available for our guests, especially if some of them were a little bit shy about buying it because of its reputation.’” No doubt, the Damson Dene Hotel got a few extra bookings out of it also.

The President of Publicity

The king of publicity during 2012 was Barack Obama. If he wasn’t the President of the United States, he would be the world’s best spin doctor. Master of the photoshoot, his White House pictures always grab your attention. My personal favourite was the picture of Obama playing with one of his staff’s kids who was dressed as Spiderman. Needless to say it proved to be a hit.

Obama Spiderman

Not content with that, Obama took every opportunity on his way to regaining his place in the White House to garner a few more votes. What other politician in the world would go on the Jimmy Fallon show and do this.

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Piaras Kelly
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