CORD at Cannes Young Lions: Stunt Power

Written by Laura Grzeszczak, CORD Warsaw, & Hayley Cannon, CORD London.  

This week, CORD’s rising stars are on the ground at Cannes Young Lions. Every day they will be sharing their news from the French Riviera, including their top take-outs from the plethora of innovative talks and events at this world-class event.


Laura Grzeszczak of CORD Warsaw, describes her favourite talk so far:

‘It was called "Zen and the Art of the Publicity Stunts" hosted by PR Stunt Agency Taylor Herring. They began by quickly dispelling the myth that cute furry animals are all advertisers need to get their audiences’ attention. Further more, that the more you spend the bigger the buzz – simply not true. U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump spent the least of all the candidates on PR and advertising, yet has earned 2 billion dollars worth of free media. All this points to surprise and shock being hugely powerful tools when it comes to getting yourself and your brand out there.



Surprising and delighting your audience also works a treat. ‘Game of Thrones’ promoted the much loved TV show by getting chefs to recreate meals from the show itself, and distributing these alternative meals all over L.A. and N.Y.C. The queues by the food trucks were immense and so was the earned media. They didn’t stop there though. Next they placed a huge dragon skull on a beach in Dorest. At sun rise passers-by discovered it for the first time, and by noon the media was flooded with photos, tweets and posts.



Another TV show, ‘Fortitude’ constructed a hyper-real polar bear and set it to roam on London’s Underground network as part of their viral marketing campaign. There were no logos, instead the mystery was allowed to build. Needless to say polar bear was all over the media, worldwide, before ‘Fortitude’ stepped forward and claimed this incredible stunt.



In all these examples, the brands’ stunts succeed by cutting through, by doing something very different in order to grab attention. This can also be done with music, which should always be chosen very carefully for full effect. Just like a stunt, music has the power to surprise, delight, shock, mystify and so on and so on. No brand should be settling for elevator music.


Indeed, Taylor Herring’s talk closed with music. Reflecting the title of the talk, a minute at the end was taken to pipe zen-like music into the auditorium, whilst images of a peaceful Japanese garden were shown on-screen. Then from stage-right, entered the Fortitude polar bear, without introduction or explanation. The perfect stunt to finish this insightful talk.’


Here are Taylor Herring’s Top 5 Stunts, ranked in order of how much earned media they achieved:

In 5th place:

Uber delivers kittens

4th place:

AirBnB recreates Van Gogh's bedroom

3rd place:

IKEA’s Billy bookcase on Bondi beach

The runner up is:

Red Bull extreme stunts TV channel

And the winner is:

Porn Hub Christmas Gift Card