Cunning Stunts: the importance of jeopardy

December 4, 2014
Jemma Chalcroft

Here at Performance Communications, we’re in the business of creating fans for brands. In basic terms, we want people to talk to each other about our clients. There are plenty of ways we do this; from good ol’ fashioned news stories to brand partnerships, events, sponsorships and sometimes some pretty crazy stunts.

Just recently our very own Team Nissan created the world’s biggest zorb, put a car inside it and rolled it around the Wiltshire countryside to demonstrate the Safety Shield technology on the new Nissan Note. The stunt went down a storm with blanket coverage across Europe including massive UK titles like Mail Online as well as the major automotive publications and sites.

So what makes a really good stunt? A stunt which isn’t an advert, but something you need to watch twice and then immediately tell your friends about it?

For me, it’s all about the jeopardy. There has to be an element of danger, a sense of ‘someone could have been seriously hurt’. The thrill of watching a risk taker come out on top – you always root for the risk taker. I think it’s the bravery of a brand that really wins my admiration. That twinned a simple execution; we’re all busy, we don’t have time to watch a complex story unfold in a 4 minute video in which all of the action is at the end. The nine-second story telling rule is key.

The nine-second rule: you should be able to describe the concept behind a story in 9 seconds flat.

An example I’d like to share with you is Lotus F1 Team sponsor, EMC’s recent stunt.  It ticks all of the boxes; it’s a 30-second film, executed simply, it has a reason (they broke a world record) and most importantly it has bucket loads of jeopardy

With almost 10 million views in just under two weeks I’d say EMC have several more fans than they had a fortnight ago.

Jemma

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