From cottages made out of chocolate, to a rentable house floating down the Thames, the travel PR industry has seen its fair share of quirky experiences created for PR purposes. But has it had its day as a PR tactic? I think we’re on the brink…

The latest instalment of ‘what cool experience can we create and develop a cool mock up for?’ sees Uber introduce a rentable submarine (aptly named the ‘scUber’). It’s certainly quirky and clearly ties back to the service the brand provides but did it provide that instant ‘wow’ moment previously seen in other similar campaigns? I’m not so sure.

That’s just it, with similar campaigns continuing to crop up in the media it’s becoming harder to form genuinely creative and innovative ideas of this nature. After all, where do you go after building a cottage out of chocolate?

It’s still an approach that’s working in terms of garnering media and social coverage but as more brands adopt this tactic, it’s only the most creative agencies and the boldest brands with the deepest pockets, that will reap the rewards.

The question is, how long will it be before it becomes another “let’s float something down the Thames”  tactic generating eye rolls of PR professionals everywhere…?

Some key consideration points when creating a campaign of this nature to ensure it’s a success:

  • A great visual

Absolutely central to these stories is a great picture. No picture of it in action or a bad quality one is never going to wash well with press. Invest in the imagery.

  • A natural link back to the brand

Don’t get carried away by a cool idea purely because it would make a good visual. Without it naturally linking back to the service or product the brand provides, it will feel like you’re jumping on the bandwagon and shoehorning your brand into a hook that doesn’t work

  • Being able to offer the service (even if only for a teeny amount of time)

Ultimately, the service or product needs to actually be able to be purchases/experience – even if only for a really limited time. It doesn’t need to involve a hefty operation for the client but it is essential to be able to provide something tangible to support the campaign.