6 Best Marketing Stunts In Recent Years

The development of marketing strategies to increase public exposure is quite interesting. Read about 6 of the best marketing stunts that have been rolled out over the years, what happened, and how they were received by the public!

#1 Red Bull Stratos Event

#1 Red Bull Stratos Event

Red Bull is a brand of energy drink that has been dominating the energy drink space over the past decade, with over 38 percent of the industry’s market share.

The company’s English slogan is “Red Bull gives you wings”, which is a sort of brand myth that has generated awareness and created marketing avenues galore.

Over the years, the company has developed a variety of proprietary extreme sports events that have brought continued awareness and popularity to the Red Bull brand. Events like Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, Red Bull Crashed Ice, and the Red Bull Air Race are perfect examples of these!

One of the most memorable Red Bull marketing stunts to have been carried out in recent years is definitely the Red Bull Space Jump. This event, sponsored entirely by Red Bull, featured Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner and followed him on his journey to break a number of skydiving/freefall world records.

On October 14th, 2012, Felix Baumgartner of Australia captivated millions around the world with his record-breaking free-fall parachute jump from the edge of space.

From an altitude of 36,000 meters (120,000 feet), outfitted with a fully adorned “Red Bull” spacesuit, the daredevil ascended to the stratosphere and jumped out of a helium balloon.

The stunt was carried out not only to create invaluable exposure and brand awareness for Red Bull as a company but also to gather valuable data and information that can be used to improve aerospace technology and safety.

The Red Bull Stratos mission was designed to display the surpassing of human limits while facilitating the advancement of scientific discoveries for the benefit of humankind.

There were three significant records, all previously held by Joe Kittinger, that were surpassed when this stunt was successfully completed:

Freefall From Highest Altitude

  • Previous record: 31,332 meters: Joe Kittinger – August 16th, 1960
  • New record: 36,000 meters: Felix Baumgartner – October 14th, 2012

Supersonic Speed In Freefall

  • Previous record: Mach 0.9 (614 miles per hour): Joe Kittinger – August 16th, 1960
  • New record: Mach 1 (690+ miles per hour): Felix Baumgartner – October 14th, 2012

Longest Freefall Time

  • Previous record: 4 minutes 36 seconds: Joe Kittinger – August 16th, 1960
  • New record: Approx. 5 minutes 35 seconds: Felix Baumgartner – October 14th, 2012

The Red Bull Stratos event engaged well over 7 million people on various social media platforms. The live event was live-streamed and attracted a record-breaking 8 million concurrent viewers to watch the historical skydive.

This was truly a massive marketing stunt and created an incredible amount of exposure for Red Bull as an organization.

#2 KFC Advertisement Visible From Space

#2 KFC Advertisement Visible From Space

In the year 2006, the internationally known fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) decided to launch a marketing stunt that would go down in history as one of the most unique of its kind.

In order to mark the official launch of a global re-imaging campaign that saw the company modernize over 14,000 KFC restaurants in over 80 countries, a logo that could be seen from outer space was constructed in the state of Nevada.

The portrait of Colonel Sanders was built out of 65,000 tiles that took six full days to complete. The logo was strategically placed in the Mojave Desert, just outside of Rachel, Nevada. All said and done, the image ended up spanning a whopping 87,500 square feet in total.

This area of the Nevada desert has been deemed “the UFO capital of the world”, which was an intentional move on the part of the corporation and their intentions with the marketing play.

The President of KFC, Gregg Dedrick made a statement during this campaign that went something like “If there are extraterrestrials in outer space, KFC wants to become their restaurant of choice”.

The portrait was spotted on Google maps and featured in the Google Sightseeing blog, which is run by Alex and James Turnbull.

In the end, the space-sized portrait advertisement was taken down about six months later. However, the image will live on perpetually within mapping imagery archives and the realms of the internet.

The image has been unofficially crowned the first advertisement that is visible from space – not a bad marketing stunt!

#3 WestJet Christmas Miracle

#3 WestJet Christmas Miracle

Another one of our favorite marketing stunts to happen in recent years was carried out by the Canadian airline WestJet. In 2013, they took a charitable approach to their marketing tactics by arranging a mass gift-giving event right around Christmas time.

250 unsuspecting WestJet passengers arriving to check-in and board their flights were surprised by a virtual Santa who appeared on the passport scanning screen. Each group of passengers was addressed by name, and were asked what exactly they wanted for Christmas!

After all of the families had given the on-screen Santa their wish lists, they proceeded to get on their respective planes. Little did they know, there had been people watching and taking notes the entire time.

Staff in the passenger’s destination cities set out on a speed shopping spree to gather all of the presents that had been requested.

Once everything had been purchased, wrapped, and labeled, staff was sent to greet the lucky passengers at the airport terminal. Standing at baggage claim waiting for their belongings to come off of the plane, they were met instead by a stream of beautifully wrapped presents cascading down the conveyor belt!

At that same moment, Santa Claus dressed in a WestJet blue coat came out and revealed the great news. Presents were distributed by name and everyone opened their gifts.

The entire event from start to finish was filmed, allowing for some incredibly heartwarming moments to be captured on video.

The footage was made into a high-quality video production that turned into a Youtube sensation, garnering well over 13 million views in a few short days. A beautiful act of charity that also produced incredible brand awareness, not to mention millions in free publicity.

#4 GoldenPalace.com – $28,000 Sandwich

#4 GoldenPalace.com - $28,000 Sandwich

The online gambling industry has been seeing a steady amount of growth over the past 20 years. Back in the early 2000s, an online casino that went by the name of Golden Palace Casino decided to launch a marketing stunt that at the time, had many absolutely baffled.

In 2004, Golden Palace Casino purchased a 10-year grilled cheese sandwich that depicts an image of the Virgin Mary on its outer crust. The sandwich was purchased from a woman in ft. Lauderdale, who had taken a bite of the sandwich before realizing that the bread crust was adorned with a surprisingly accurate image of the Virgin Mary.

GoldenPalace.com confirmed that they had successfully submitted the winning bid, and could rightfully call the half-eaten sandwich their own. A spokesman by the name of Monty Kerr was recorded giving a statement to The Miami Herald that read “It’s part of pop culture that’s immediately recognizable. We knew right away we wanted to have it”.

CEO Richard Rowe stated that they planned to use the sandwich and its attention to raise money for charity. The toast was taken on somewhat of a world tour, and was in fact used to raise charity, but mainly served to bring eyes to their online casino.

The incredibly bizarre concept actually ended up capturing a significant amount of attention, to the point where both local and international media platforms were covering the story.

The near $30,000 grilled cheese sandwich garnered tourist visits and photo sharing as well, making it quite the lucrative endeavor surprisingly.

#5 Jaguar’s Furthest Barrel Roll In A Vehicle

#5 Jaguar’s Furthest Barrel Roll In A Vehicle

Jaguar decided to take the term marketing “stunt”, as literally as possible with their attempt at one of cinema’s most exciting and iconic car stunts – the barrel roll.

The internationally recognized car company decided to make a splash with the unveiling of their first SUV, the E-PACE, by having it complete the world’s furthest barrel roll performed in a production vehicle.

The entire event took about six months to prepare and execute and ended up lasting a total of 1.5 exhilarating seconds.

On July 13th at the ExCel London (Exhibition Center London), the E-PACE made its public debut by injecting itself into the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS history by completing a 55-foot barrel roll.

With the help of veteran stunt coordinator Gary Powell, the stunt driver Terry Grant accomplished the incredible feat that was designed to show the rugged agility of Jaguar’s brand new, small but capable SUV.

The driver experienced an astounding 5.5 Gs of force while performing the maneuver, and provided a spectacle that would go down in the history books.

The stunt gained a significant amount of media attention, with video of the awe-inspiring stunt being plastered all over social media platforms internationally.

Jaguar was successful in solidifying its presence as a competitor in the SUV and sport-utility vehicle space, as they were mostly known for their luxury sedans.

#6 Tinder’s Dog Adopting Campaign

#6 Tinder’s Dog Adopting Campaign

In the year 2014, Tinder, one of the most popular new-age dating platforms to ever exist, launched a campaign that used its platform in a unique and heartwarming way.

The app normally functions by providing users with the profiles of other users who are also looking to connect. The app provides the simple “swipe left or swipe right” functionality that allows users to decide whether or not they would like to match and communicate with each individual.

These “matches” are usually created between two humans, but in this case, Tinder had the brilliant idea of launching a campaign that instead matched users to dogs who were available for adoption!

The entire event was carried out in partnership with a U.S animal rescue organization and served to shed a more positive and charitable light on an app that has otherwise had developed quite the risque reputation.

The marketing stunt actually ended up being quite successful, creating well over 2,000 matches, which in this case ended up being adoptions for dogs in need of homes! This displayed the versatility of Tinder’s app functionality, showing that it can be used in different ways to promote positivity and charity.

The dating app space was, is, and will always be incredibly saturated. Companies are constantly looking for new, creative ways to stand out from the rest of the crowd and bring more users to their platform.

This dog adopting campaign provided a way for Tinder to win the hearts of many who may have otherwise had an unfavorable perception of the app and its values. In the end, this ended up helping to position Tinder as an organization that acknowledges the importance of altruism, charity, and overall goodwill.