Publicity stunts have been a staple of the PR and marketing industries for as long as they have existed. Designed to capture attention from the press and go viral on social media, these events are extremely visual and creative – the more outside the box they are, the better! Unlike a campaign, PR stunts are just a snapshot of a single moment in time: easy to share, gains instant press coverage, and helps build momentum to promote a brand or message. 

Here are some of our favourite and most memorable PR stunts in the UK:

  • Scorned Lover Range Rover Detailing: Shoppers in Knightsbridge were shocked to see a vandalized white Range Rover with “CHEATER” spray painted on the side of the car and “Hope she was worth it!” written on the hood. Numerous passersby stopped to take photos and the car received lots of media coverage, especially when it was revealed to be a PR stunt by Range Rover to advertise their new Revere Range Rover Vogue.
  • Bubble Wrapped Street: Comparison site had a stroke of genius when it came to promoting their brand. The company completely bubble wrapped a street they had identified to have one of the highest numbers of car insurance claims in the UK. Absolutely everything was covered in bubble wrap – trees, cars, lampposts, and even a skip! – whilst the whole street was renamed as Accident Avenue.
  • Polar Bear on the Tube: On a chilly January morning, Londoners started to tweet about polar bear sightings at Charing Cross, Hampstead Heath and on the South Bank. Social media was soon filled with images of this realistic and lifelike animated puppet. Alongside newspaper coverage later in the day came the reveal that this eight-foot bear was ‘unleashed’ to mark the launch of a new Sky Atlantic crime drama.

Here at Building Relations PR, we have been having some fun of our own inspired by these exciting stunts. Most recently, at Barratt London’s Upton Garden’s development in E13, we invited world renowned artist Joe Hill from ‘3D Joe and Max’ to paint a giant 3D street art illusion. The pavement painting, measuring a massive five by three meters, depicted a giant crack in the earth revealing a flashback of the old East Ham stadium with bubbles floating out of it. Passersby to the artwork were able to interact with the piece, either taking photos of themselves balanced on top of, or trapped inside, a giant bubble, using a dedicated hashtag on social media. Safe to say, the local primary school had a particularly fun afternoon!

At Barratt London’s New Mill Quarter development in SM6, residential buildings were lit up by a rainbow-themed light installation in September as a mark of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in the capital. On the weekend where the streets of London should have been alive with vibrant celebrations marking Pride Week, including the famous colourful parade, ongoing concerns about Covid led Barratt to continue to show their support through a thoroughly Covid-safe light display. It wasn’t quite a carnival, but it helped raise awareness for the community, alongside a generous charity donation.

PR stunts like this offer the opportunity to capture people’s imagination and document a single moment in time. For creative ideas on how to make your mark to your target audience and stand out from the noise, Building Relations PR is here to help. Please get in touch with us to find out more: