Marketing Stunts: What Not to Do


Marketing stunts can get a lot of attention in the media, but if they aren’t planned and executed well, it might not be the kind of attention businesses want or need.

A “stunt” is, by definition, a risky thing to do to get attention. Any company that wants to have a successful event as part of a more extensive marketing campaign needs to make sure that the event, or stunt, is surprising and compelling enough to get people excited without alienating them or making them feel bad about it.

1: Always Have a Plan B Ready

It would be best to never plan a marketing stunt without having a Plan B ready if things don’t work out the first time. For example, if you’re having an event outside, you need to consider that weather may turn bad. Make sure you have a backup plan for the day. In addition, if you are having a party outdoors, make sure that you can get power. There’s nothing worse than having to cancel an event last minute because of a bad strategy or plan.

2: Misrepresenting Sustainability Projects

Do not overpromise or underdeliver when it comes to sustainability announcements. There isn’t a 100% surefire way to stop global warming. Stating this in your announcement can backfire. Consumers care about these issues, and if a brand misrepresents its efforts to be more environmentally friendly, consumers will be harsh on them.

3: Don’t Be Front and Center

Do not even think about putting your brand in the front and center. In a world that many people believe is fragile, people are looking for actual campaigns and have a good reason. Slow moves are now winning the game. One example is the “conscious beauty” movement, which makes a lot of noise to make people look good.

4: Making a Joke About a Social Problem

Use a social issue in a marketing stunt only if you’re sure it will work. Companies repeatedly made big mistakes when trying to do stunts around different movements. Sometimes, it’s better to take less risk in these situations because they can be dangerous.

5: Not Having an End Channel in Mind

One big “don’t” when it comes to pulling off a marketing stunt is launching one without a defined end channel in mind. It’s essential to think about how to market to TikTok and YouTube audiences in the same way. What kind of format or current trend your stunt fits into will help you get as much out of your campaign as possible.

6: Don’t Expect An Immediate Impact

Don’t think that your stunt will have an immediate effect. Be ready to spend weeks or months after your stunt getting people to talk about it on social media. Don’t be surprised if you start to see signs that you’re on your way back as time goes on.

7: Not Making Sure You Have The Final say in Contests

In stunts where people vote on who should do something, make sure you can choose the winner from all of them. Online communities can make fun of polls and votes by putting them together in a way that makes them look funny. Have a way to decide who the winner is if things go wrong.

8: Not Showing The Brand or Its Product or Service in the Right Light

A big “don’t” in marketing is developing an ad campaign that doesn’t accurately show the brand or misrepresents how the product or service will work. Stick to the things about your product that can be proven and tested by many people. Then, come up with a jingle or dance that will keep your customers coming back.

9: Check To Make Sure That The Stunt Won’t Break Any Laws

The last thing you want to do is put a lot of work into a stunt to find out later it’s not legal. A good rule of thumb is to check with your local government before doing your next stunt.


About Author

Barb Rogers

Barb has worked within the digital advertising and marketing space for over 20 years. Over the years, she found it difficult to find information on the simplest of subjects tied to the digital marketing space, so she decided to embark on a journey to create a space that others may appreciate.

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