How far would you go for free publicity?

Free publicity can be a very powerful source when it comes to promoting a show. But in order for this publicity to be effective in capturing the eye of the media, something interesting must be provided that will create an interesting and ultimately competitive story in the marketplace. Now comes the interesting question – How far would you go for free publicity?

 Kong at Eureka Tower Melbourne (featuring King Kong stunt person Leigh-Anne Vizer)

In the case of King Kong the Musical, the sky is the limit when it comes to how far they would go for free publicity. Literally, the sky is actually the limit as we saw from yesterday’s publicity stunt which involved affixing a 4.5 metre King Kong arm to the Eureka Skydeck in order to recreate a famous scene. This scene is, of course, the famous ending to King Kong where he scales the Empire State Building with Ann Darrow clasped in his enormous hand.

The idea of hanging from an enormous hand off the top of the Eureka Tower certainly seems stomach-churning to me and I assume that most people would have the same reaction. Nevertheless, a rather courageous stunt double, Leigh-Anne Vizer, took on the task of kicking and screaming 300 metres up in the air to create this famous scene and hopefully create some free publicity.

The aftermath of this stunt would have hopefully pleased the marketing and public relations teams behind King Kong as it appears to have achieved the desired effect.

As soon as the stunt was over yesterday, small articles began to pop up on major news, theatre and other media outlets detailing the outrageous length that the King Kong team had ventured to recreate a scene from the movie. Following these articles, this morning the story was covered by both major Victorian newspapers, The Age and the Herald Sun. But not just in their respective arts sections, this story managed to garner a rather significant full colour picture on page 2 and 3 in both newspapers. Success? I think so.

Not content with these victories, the enormous King Kong hand will remain inside the Eureka Sky Deck for a couple more months in front of a giant green screen. Why? They have had their big publicity stunt, the hand itself isn’t going to get any more media coverage. But what about the tourism market?

King Kong isn’t touring anywhere else in Australia because it is close to impossible to find theatre that would accommodate the enormous set and also incredibly difficult to pack up the enormous gorilla. Hence, people have to come to Melbourne in order to see it. So why not enhance their experience by encouraging them to go up Eureka Tower and sit on the infamous hand 300 metres above the earth (albeit inside the sky deck)?

Same thing goes for the tourists who come to Melbourne just for a holiday without any knowledge of King Kong. Chances are they will visit the Eureka Sky Deck, Melbourne’s answer to the Empire State Building, and there they will be exposed to promotion and advertising of another possible entertainment choice they have for their time here in Melbourne. All in all, it really is a win-win for both King Kong and the Eureka Sky Deck!

What do you think of this publicity stunt? Effective or not? Leave me a comment below and stay tuned for some more publicity stunts over the coming weeks from around the world!