Everyone loves to watch an extreme event. Thrills, chills, excitement! Will it work? Will it fail? Either way – it will be spectacular!
Once rare, extreme stunts have become a valuable marketing tactic for brands to gain the public’s attention and expand a brand’s reach. Unlike a 30-second ad viewed once or twice, a stunt gains valuable viewers and exposure when videos go viral and are watched multiple times.
One of the most memorable in recent years was the Red Bull Stratos freefall jump from space. In that stunt, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner did a 4:20 minute long freefall from 128,000 feet above the Earth, traveling at 1,342 kilometers per hour. The stunt broke world records in longest freefall, highest freefall and highest manned balloon flight! The jump was watched live by 52 million people across online platforms, and has been reviewed millions of times.
Red Bull isn’t alone in using stunts to capture attention and build awareness. One recent event launched the first car into space! Tesla and SpaceX sent a Tesla Roadster (complete with dummy astronaut driver) into space using SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket in early February, 2018. The launch logged more than 2.3 concurrent views on YouTube.
Another high-profile of our favorite stunts featured Range Rover’s Sport Plug-In Hybrid as it drove the 99 turns and 999 steps of China’s Tianmen Mountain. The six-minute video resulted in more than three million views, 45,000 likes, and 2,000 comments globally.
Can’t wait to see the next brand’s extreme stunt!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss the use of extreme events in marketing as a promotional tactic.
- Poll students: What are some of the events or stunts they can recall? Why were these memorable? Did they further the brand’s message?
- Show several of the many videos with extreme stunts: Red Bull Stratos: https://youtu.be/FHtvDA0W34I
- Tesla Starman launch: https://youtu.be/A0FZIwabctw
- Tesla Starman – Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/embed/aBr2kKAHN6M
- Land Rover Dragon Challenge: https://youtu.be/EUwzWHD3Htg
- Nike Breaking 2: https://www.nike.com/gb/en_gb/c/running/breaking2
- Snapple world’s largest popsicle: https://youtu.be/QlZ_QsKYx5Y
- Poll students: What brands could make effective use of an extreme stunt as a tactic?
- Divide students into teams: Have each team develop a stunt for a selected brand.
Source: Lucken, S. (31 May, 2018). When done right, extreme stunts can catapult a brand into the public eye. Ad Week.