Are so-called ambient media just stunts?

Andrew Green
ZenithOptimedia

BACKGROUND

When Richard Branson launched his Virgin Cola brand in the US, he drove a Second World War tank through Times Square in New York. At the Virgin Brides wedding service launch he donned a $10,000 white silk bridal gown. In Australia he flew into a press conference hanging from a helicopter, promising to save Australians from money-grabbing mobile contractors.

He is not the only one. Early in 2006, Nelson's Column in London carried advertising for the first time, during the monument's renovation. There are countless other examples of 'guerrilla' marketing.

Media stunts can be an integral part of a brand campaign. They are designed to make people sit up and notice, and generate as much news coverage as possible. Usually, however, they are one-offs.