One of the tactics that is now a staple of Brand storytelling is the stunt. The reason for its ubiquity is that it captures reality – be it real experiences, real emotions, etc. You get to see people’s real reactions to a Brand undertaking and thus are somehow affected by the authenticity of the people’s reactions. The more Brand deploy this tactic, the more we are aware of the tactics that work and those that do not. Two of those that work are compassion and intensity.
Compassion is by far the storytelling approach that has the greatest success with stunts. We see huge view numbers with these types of stunts. The reason is that there is insatiable human desire for good, since most of us don’t have enough of it within our own lives. A case in point is this wonderful stunt by TD Bank in Canada. They followed the tried-and-true tactic of using a vending machine (which in their case is an ATM) to give some unexpected people a wonderfully happy surprise. Coke, Pepsi, Unilever, and so one have all successfully done this. It seems that people love to see their own daily routines broken in happy ways. Have a look.
Intensity is another storytelling approach that works incredibly well with stunts. It does not match the power of compassion but it is very much used and loved. The big challenge with intensity is that viewers are not happy with a different take on a type of intensity. Instead they are always wanted you to take it up a notch. This makes the efforts a lot more dangerous and costly. As such, this storytelling tactic will be increasingly difficult to do well. Its a bit like how shock-rock reached a crescendo where another step would become illegal. Car brands are obvious lovers of this type of stunt. The following one from BMW is brilliant. It reminds of the DC Gymkhana videos (see here). Enjoy