As the Editor of Ghana’s Biggest Entertainment focused online media (GhanaCelebrities.Com) I was contacted by Peace Fm last Saturday to contribute my knowledge to their discussion of the issue of Publicity Stunt in Ghana’s fast developing Entertainment Industry (You can listen to my submission on the radio below).[audio:https://gclive.ghanacelebrities.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Chris-Vincent-Talks-About-Publicity-Stunt-On-Peace-FM.mp3]
Following the radio discussion of Publicity Stunt in Ghana’s Showbiz, I have decided to look at the issue of Publicity Stunt in detail—how they are done in Ghana and whether they are even needed at all….
A publicity stunt can be defined as an event purposely designed/staged to attract media attention to a cause, a brand or an individual.
Publicity Stunt is a famous marketing strategy mostly employed in the world of Showbiz, Consumable Goods, Politics and Branding.
As popular as this concept is in many western countries, it seems what we practice and see in Ghana deviates from what is really known as ‘Publicity Stunt’.
In order to help you understand how real Publicity Stunt is employed in the West to achieve set goals without necessary misleading targeted audience, I have gathered some good examples below.
In most Western Publicity Stunts, the targeted persons (audience) are fully aware that events are simply being staged to get public ‘attention’. Lies are highly not recommended.
Any media outlet or person that KNOWINGLY LIES to his audience in order to gain their attention for a cause deviates from the core principles of Publicity Stunt. And this seems to be the growing case in Ghana.
In Ghana, we seem to be confusing plain lies being reported to hype persons/events which undermines our obligation towards our audience with the old marketing principle of ‘Publicity Stunt’.
Consider these famous western publicity stunts that really worked, and then I will follow them with what we badly do in Ghana, calling it Publicity Stunt.
The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, 1993
In 1993, Prince announced that he would be changing his name. He changed it to a symbol that was unpronounceable.
Message in a Bottle, 1959
In 1959, Guinness hoped to build awareness of their beer by dropping 150,000 bottles in the ocean with a message from King Neptune in each bottle. They hoped the people combing the beaches would find the bottles and spread the word.
Frozen In Time, 2000
Illusionist David Blaine remained encased and frozen in a large chunk of ice in Times Square for over 60 hours. Thousands came out to witness his ‘Frozen in Time’ stunt.
He made it out alive, but was immediately rushed to the hospital because doctors were worried he would go into shock. Blaine admitted he would never attempt a stunt of this caliber again.
Batman to the Rescue, 2003
The Father 4 Justice group campaigns in the UK about reforming family law especially when it comes to divorce. One person from the campaign group dressed up as Batman and stood on the Balcony of Buckingham Palace for 5 hours with his banner.
Nude Models Promote Animal Rights, 2008
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had a campaign with the message of ‘Be comfortable in your own skin. Let animals keep theirs’. They had many models, including celebrities pose nude and then placed these photographs on billboards. The point was to show that these people would rather go naked than wear fur!