September 2 2014

All you need is a 50-foot parrot


Depending on what your business specializes in, there are times when a PR stunt will suit your needs more than the long play PR campaign. Though the differences between the two are slight, a stunt can be seen more generally as a one-time or short-term event, while a campaign may tend to be more long-term and, most often, more interactive. We shared a great PR campaign with you a few weeks ago that the pen manufacturer, Bic, was running. The “Universal Typeface Experiment” was a clever example of what a campaign should be: interactive, global, relevant to the company’s purpose or product, and unique.

But your company might not have the resources to put together a long-term campaign like that or you might not feel as though that type of PR campaign best suits your purposes. While the Typeface Experiment works perfectly to promote who Bic is and what they do, the same idea just simply won’t work for everyone.

Short and Sweet

A good PR stunt doesn’t have to stick around forever to be effective. In fact, some of the most memorable stunts are also some of the shortest – long enough to grab our attention and quick enough that we don’t tire of them.

Similarly to a PR campaign, a PR stunt should be something unique, relevant to the product or vision of the company, and have mass appeal. Whether it’s “global” or truly local, the idea behind the stunt is to gain people’s interest.

Getting attention through a dead parrot

Our friends across the pond in London did just that last month when a 50 foot fiberglass parrot was hung upside down by a crane in a London park to build up anticipation for an upcoming farewell show.

If you already get the reference, well done!

For anyone growing up in the UK during the last few decades (and any expats this side of the Atlantic), the sculpture was an instantly recognizable nod toward one of the most famous Monty Python sketches of all time – “The Norwegian Blue”. The sculpture became a feature in the British comedy troupe’s farewell show from their reunion, which aired on July 20th, but stayed on its upside down perch for several days prior and later on its back in a field for passersby to photograph and pay their respects to the show – and the bird.

Eye-catching, very creative, directly related to the farewell show it was promoting, and incredibly shareable, this was a perfectly simple, and very effective, stunt.

“To celebrate the achievements of the Monty Python crew, UKTV channel Gold–which will air the final performance of the reunion on Sunday–contracted with sculptor Iain Prendergast to create a 50-foot fiberglass version of the famous ‘Norwegian Blue’ parrot. The parrot, which is famous for being dead from the moment it was sold, was placed on Monday at Potters Fields Park in South London, near Tower Bridge. This is both a fine reminder to tune in on Sunday to the broadcast and an outstanding opportunity to inspire countless visitors to declare in increasingly frantic tones that ‘This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It’s a stiff!’ Because if there’s anything that you need to commission a 50-foot fiberglass sculpture to get people who know every word to famous Monty Python sketches to do, it’s to recite the funnier bits of those sketches to anyone within earshot.” (Fast Co.Create)

Image: Flickr user Taylor Herring