Great stunts are increasingly difficult to pull off because so many good ones have been done. Quality expectations from both a story and production perspective are high. Therefore the ability to really engage and get organic pass-along requires a few good tactics. First, it is important that someone (if not many people) are not expecting to participate in a stunt. That way the responses on-screen are real and thus more engaging. Second, the viewer needs to be able to relate to one of the protagonists. This way there is emotional engagement in the story flow. Third, there needs to be a good surprise, so that there is something that the viewer does not expect. Fourth, the core topic in the stunt needs to be rooted in a core human value or ritual (eg. survival, being there for your friend, etc.). That way it has the chance to be more universally liked. Finally, if possible, there needs to be a bigger purpose, something that people can buy into.
This week, a few great stunts have been circulating the blogs that share the above traits which makes them stand out from the crowd. The first is from Carlsberg, the second from FiftyFifty.
Carlsberg has done a few good stunts over the past few years, notably the famous biker cinema stunt. Under their positioning of “great acts, behaviors and moments deserve a Carlsberg”, they recently tested the power of friendship. This stunt is a combination of the fear brought to life in their biker cinema stunt (see here) combined with the elaborate production of the TNT stunt (see here). You are really rooting for the people and feel for them as they overcome their emotions to get to their friends. Have a look.
FiftyFifty is a charity in Belgium that is committed to helping homelessness. To get people to donate requires more that stories it requires feeling the pain of those that are on the street. Only then is there a more likely willingness to give. You really need to allow the potential donors to be put in the shoes of those that they should be helping. As such, the charity partnered with cinemas to turn down the heating, provide blankets and communicated to the people that this is what sleeping outside feels like. Then via a QR code on the blankets they made it super easy to donate right there in the cinema. Genius.