Publicity stunt

Publicity stunt
Publicity stunt in Salt Lake City,1910: "Little Hip" the elephant, advertising newspaper & theater.
Austin A40 Sports, circa 1951. To promote the A40 Sports, Leonard Lord, Chairman of Austin, bet Alan Hess of the company's publicity department that he could not drive round the world in 30 days in the car. In 1951, an A40 Sports driven by Hess[1] achieved the round-the-world feat in 21 days rather than the planned 30 (with assistance of a KLM cargo plane) — though the stunt had no eventual impact on sales.[2]

A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public's attention to the event's organizers or their cause. Publicity stunts can be professionally organized or set up by amateurs.[3] Such events are frequently utilized by advertisers, celebrities, athletes, and politicians.


Organizations sometimes seek publicity by staging newsworthy events that attract media coverage. They can be in the form of groundbreakings, world record attempts, dedications, press conferences or organized protests. By staging and managing the event, the organization attempts to gain some control over what is reported in the media. Successful publicity stunts have news value, offer photo, video and sound bite opportunities, and are arranged primarily for media coverage.[4]

It is sometimes hard for organizations to design successful publicity stunts that highlight the message instead of burying it. For example, it makes sense for a pizza company to bake the world's largest pizza but it would not make sense for the YMCA to sponsor that same event. The importance of publicity stunts is generating news interest and awareness for the concept, product or service being marketed. Stunts are effective communication tools when used well and useless time wasters when they are not.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Austin A40 Sports". Austin Memories. 
  2. ^ "Motoring Memories: Austin A40 Sports, 1951-1953". Canadian Driver, June 15, 2007, Bill Vance. 
  3. ^,, Retrieved on October 15, 2008
  4. ^ Cutlip, Scott; Center, Allen, Broom, Glen (1985). Effective Public Relations. Englewood Cliffs, new Jersey: Prentice Hall. pp. 8–9. ISBN 0-13-245077-1. 
  5. ^ Horton, James. "Publicity Stunts What Are They? Why Do Them?". Retrieved 2008-10-15. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • publicity stunt — pubˈlicity ˌstunt noun [countable] disapproving something that is only done in order to get publicity: • Cynics are saying that the couple s romance is a huge publicity stunt to help sell their new movie. * * * publicity stunt UK US noun [C]… …   Financial and business terms

  • publicity stunt — UK US noun [countable] [singular publicity stunt plural publicity stunts] something unusual that is done to make people notice a person, organization, or product Thesaurus: types of advertisementhyponym …   Useful english dictionary

  • publicity stunt — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms publicity stunt : singular publicity stunt plural publicity stunts something unusual that is done to make people notice a person, organization, or product …   English dictionary

  • publicity stunt —  An outrageous act designed to get media coverage.  ► “Although the media attention for General Motors” Saturn automobile homecoming was impressive, the event should be less remembered as a publicity stunt than as a milestone of RELATIONSHIP… …   American business jargon

  • publicity stunt — pub licity ,stunt noun count something unusual that is done to make people notice a person, organization, or product …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • publicity stunt — commercial stunt, advertising gimmick …   English contemporary dictionary

  • publicity stunt — noun A staged marketing event staged used to garner publicity …   Wiktionary

  • publicity-stunt — adjective noun …   Wiktionary

  • stunt — [stʌnt] noun [countable] disapproving MARKETING something that is done to attract people s attention to a product or company: • The companies turned the event into a publicity stunt. • They deliberately created a controversial commercial as a… …   Financial and business terms

  • Stunt (disambiguation) — * Stunt, a difficult or unusual feat performed for film or theatre * List of cheerleading stunts * Stunt (botany), a plant disease that results in dwarfing and loss of vigor * Stunt (Dance music act), a british dance music act * Stunt (album), a… …   Wikipedia

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