PR Playback: Publicity Stunts
For the past century, Los Angeles, New York, and London have been the mecca for all things public relations and the hub for successful PR agencies. The big three PR cities have taken the current publicity world by storm and have been doing so for decades. Let’s take a look into some of the world renowned PR stunts with LA, NYC, and London as the backdrop.
Let’s being here at home, Hollywood: The Hollywood hills were once just rolling hills near the star-studded region… until a real estate developer wanted to make the hills more approachable, desirable, and sellable! Hence the large attention-grabbing PR stunt of the HollywoodLand sign. What is now a scene in almost every LA-based film and LA landmark and tourist destination was once simply a publicity stunt for the most famous hills in all of California.
Traveling about 2,451 miles east- we land in New York City, the Big Apple, the land of creative expression and big dreams, and the location of The Seven Year Itch- Marilyn Monroe’s most famous movie. Not only is this movie incredibly well known but in particular one still from the movie made headlines: Marilyn standing above a subway vent as her billowing skirt blows up. This famous image was planned to get photographer’s and the media’s attention to help promote the famous film. The movie publicists set the scene into motion with a hidden wind machine beneath the street gate set to blow when photographers were passing by. A true publicity stunt at it’s finest.
And across the pond in London Town- the House of Parliament was branded with a naked photo of Gail Porter in 1999 for a FHM magazine publicity stunt to promote a poll to find the world’s 100 sexiest women. The projected photo took London aback but got the public to start asking: “What is FHM”, and that is the point of publicity stunts.
The PR world is so broad and multi-faceted yet there is one main goal behind all of it: get the public talking and get them to talk a lot. Los Angeles, New York, and London have all figured it out, which city will be the next host of a riveting PR stunt?