How to Launch a Successful Publicity Stunt Like Placing a Mustang Atop of The Empire State Building


Did you see the Mustang on top of the Empire State Building? Just this past week Ford Mustang pulled off a very successful publicity stunt. To celebrate their 50th anniversary they introduced the new 2015 Ford Mustang on top of the Empire State Building. They strategically placed a car onto the observation deck of the landmark building just like they did 50 years ago.

Talk about a captivating new product launch! The car seemed to have appeared out of nowhere the morning of April 16th and the news was all over it. Spectators and journalists where packed onto the deck cheek to cheek like a pack of sardines to see new vehicle.

It took well around six months of planning to get the car to the top of the building. Since a crane cannot reach the heights of the 102-floor sky scrapper and since King Kong wasn’t available, the car had to be taken up in pieces. It was taken up in six pieces by elevator. As soon as the observation deck closed the night before the Mustang team worked overnight to assemble the vehicle onto the corner of the observation deck.

The Mustang sparkled atop the Empire State Building for two days commemorating the 50th anniversary of their debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.

How can you plan a successful publicity stunt of your own?

Helpful Tips When You Want to Launch a Successful Publicity Stunt

Strategic Planning

Planning for a successful publicity stunt takes time. Make sure that it is well thought out. Think about the product or service you provide and what makes it most attractive. You want to target the right audience at the right time with the right promotion. If it is going to go off with a hit then the time needs to be put into it before hand. Like the Ford Mustang appearing on the top of the Empire State Building overnight, a publicity stunt may appear as it if happened instantly but in reality a lot of planning was in place behind it.

Create a Budget

A publicity stunt can be costly. If you budget yourself correctly then you can achieve it at a low-cost. However a really good stunt may require an extra investment. It’s up to you to make sure that you plan accordingly so that you can get the best return on your investment. Also, be sure to include a custom giveaway within your budget to really drive your marketing message home.

Promote the Promotion

Start promoting before the actual stunt. No need to reveal your plan, however, you can start with a few hints. Try to peak the interest of your audience so that when it does happen they can’t miss it. Be sure not to give out too many details and spoil the surprise.

Consider Your Reputation

Make ethical decisions. The purpose of a publicity stunt is to call attention to your brand. Make sure it’s positive attention. The last thing you want to do is to do something so outrageous that you end up hurting yourself instead. While planning make sure you get the right permissions and permits to perform.

Don’t go crazy or go crazy! It’s up to you how far you want to go with a successful publicity stunt. It may be as simple as dressing up in costume and standing along the highway or it can be as spectacular as placing a care atop of a skyscraper. There are so many possibilities.

What will your next stunt be? What are some of the most memorable publicity stunts that you have ever witnessed? What are your thoughts about Ford placing a Mustang on the Empire State Building?

A Look at Bike Share Programs and What We Can Learn from Them

Who would have thought that going green, you know, being more environmentally considerate, could be good for your business in the short term? Well that is exactly what you could get with advertisements on none other than a bike. If not there yet, than sure to come to a city near you is a bike share program that is quickly popping up in most large US cities. Coast to coast and north to south, many cities are adopting bike share programs to not only help keep down fuel emissions and gas cost but also to promote good health. While all of these reasons are great on a personal level, we can learn a lot from this program on a business level also.

Bay Area Bike Share launch in San Jose CA

Bay Area Bike Share launch in San Jose CA – Flickr: Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

First started in The Netherlands (Amsterdam) in 1965 the project that had nothing but good intentions soon failed do to vandalism and stolen bikes. Like most things, as technology evolved so did bike sharing programs internationally. As a solution to the vandalism/theft problem, Portsmouth, UK, installed electronic bike racks in the 1990’s. In addition to the electronic racks were smart cards which for a small fee allowed a renter to access the bicycles without anonymity. If the bike came back damaged in any way or didn’t come back at all than the renter was charged a fee for the damaged property. The other component to the program that aided in its success was the installation of cameras that monitored the bike racks 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Once the program was proven to be a success with some minor changes, it was slowly but surely adopted all over the world. China, Australia and the US now have bike shares programs. In preparation for the 2012 DNC (Democratic National Convention) the city of Charlotte installed bike share racks all around downtown Charlotte, NC so that the millions of people that swarmed the city would have transportation options. So what can we learn from this program in terms of business? Continue reading