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Old 06-04-09, 05:47 PM   #1
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Default Publicity Stunts

Back in the good ole days, a performer or a traveling troupe would set their show up in a small town and gather people into the theatre through publicity stunts.

Have those days died completely? are publicity stunts a thing of the past? Has the bar been raised to high to create a cost effective publcity stunt?

these are all valid questions for a good conversation, but what I specifically am after are ideas for publicity stunts. Weather it be an old gag, or a new stunt; a trick designed for radio adds, or television interviews.

I will start by talking about one that I use quite often. I like to go to a high trafic area, where you would normally want to do a street show. I set up a masage table and while brandishing a electric bone saw offer people a new wholeistic surgery that will cure what ails ya. then when I have a punter willing to lie down and put themselves at risk, I perform a classic verson of sawed in half. Once I am done I tell every one about the show i am in town doing and hand out what ever promo material i have.

what is your favorite publicity stunt?
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Old 06-04-09, 05:58 PM   #2
Lee Nelson
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Old 06-05-09, 05:41 AM   #3
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Shades of Snake Oil selling from the back of a horse-drawn wagon!
Hmm, a parade down the street by the circus elephant and all, announcing the circus has arrived in town.
MagiCol. The presentation makes the magic.
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Old 06-05-09, 11:29 AM   #4
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I have done my upside-down escape from a crane once as a publicity stunt...scary scary.
The fear of heights is put more in perspective while hanging upside down a couple of stories up, no matter how safe you are or may feel.
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Old 06-05-09, 11:36 AM   #5
Evan Young
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A press release got us (the SHOWOFF Show!) a huge photo and article in the entertainment section of the paper three days in one week. Quality promo pictures make a huge difference for these things. Brent McCoy got one of his promo pics (that I took) in the Boston Globe last week... speaking of which, I'm thinking about heading up to New England next week with my camera and some studio gear.....

When we do colleges we do a teaser during the dinner hour in the dining hall to bring more people to the show. Colleges are famous for not promoting the shows they spent thousands of dollars on, and thus having small audiences.


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Old 06-11-09, 02:23 AM   #6
Aaron Gregg
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I think old-school publicity stunts are now a bit obsolete because of the prevalence of local television. I agree with Evan that a good set of promo pics can get you good placement in the press but if you're in a moderately sized city then TV is golden. I've promoted a few non-profit circus shows here in Victoria and the local TV people are quite happy for us to provide content on a morning show or similar in exchange for free promotion and I've heard the same from friends in other places. It's great to do something live but there's SOOO many people who watch TV.

See you in Canmore!

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Old 06-11-09, 03:10 AM   #7
Rex Boyd
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I did a university tour years ago with a show called "We Can Make You Laugh". We would always try to arrive on campus in time to do a bit of promotion in the cafeteria at lunch time to encourage the students to come to the evening show. There were three of us doing the show. We would saunter in doing a doo-wop style accapella song and then go up to a girl having her lunch. The song was then sung to her like an over the top love proposal while her face turned red and the whole room stopped to see what was going on. It would only last about a minute or two. At the end we would have the attention of the whole room to make an announcement about coming to that evening's show.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:55 AM   #8
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see: David Blaine / Viral video
search youtube: publicity stunt
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