The Best of Seasonal Stunts
From the most cheerful time of the year, we bring you big business stunts from companies looking to capitalise on the holiday hype and gift-giving hysteria of Christmas.
There are some traditional marketing moments that bring the joy of Christmas alive for us all; the influx of possible presents for kids, SantaΓÇÖs Coca-Cola truck and the recent, much acclaimed John Lewis campaign.
But where Christmas consumerism efforts are concerned, there may be a few mad marketing techniques you might not have heard ofΓÇª
The First Christmas Stunt
In 1880 Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric lightbulb, decided to draw attention to his inventions by stringing up multi-coloured lights all over his laboratory building in Menlo Park, California just in time for Christmas.
Passers-by on the train home for the holidays were awed by the sight of the incandescent bulbs sparkling in the dark winter night and evoking the spirit of the season.
A Room at the Inn at Last
A few years ago, Travelodge announced that any married couple in the UK named Mary and Joseph would be allowed to stay in the inn of their choice for free.
Producing marriage certificates for proof, certified couples were given a room for the night at any Travelodge between December 24th 2007 and January 5th 2008; presumably as a belated apology to the original biblical couple.
The Real Christmas Angel
In 2010, Clarion Communications aired a stunt that ended up winning an award for the PR agency. They hoisted Big Brother star Chantelle Houghton up to the top of a 60ft Christmas tree at Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex.
The stunt reportedly won the agency ┬ú0.5m of media coverage and a Purple Apple award, much coveted within the industry.
Nearly a Winter Wonderland
While Clarion were balancing minor celebrities on treetops, Hamleys Toy Store in London announced it would be importing real life reindeer and penguins to create a true winter wonderland for Christmas 2010.
The scheme never saw fruition however, as the majority of the press coverage was aimed at the public outcry from animal rights and animal welfare groups who declared the move immoral. After an initial standoff, Hamleys withdrew their plans.
WhatΓÇÖs your favourite marketing moment from Christmases past? Share your favourites in the comments.