Creating “buzz” with a marketing stunt is a tale as old as time. They don’t always turn out pretty, but rather they are meant to make consumers more aware of their brands and to spark dialogue about their message and companies. During 2018 there have been many marketing stunts, but only a few worth remembering. Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable…


The IHOb hoax


Back in June, IHOP announced a rebrand of epic proportions claiming they would switch their focus to selling burgers, not pancakes, with plans to change their name altogether. They were figuratively and literally flipping the “P” upside down — the internet came down hard. After a month-long identity crisis among its consumers, IHOP announced it was all a rouse to promote their new burger line — they had no real plans to change their name to IHOb after all. All was right with the world again.


It’s clear the main goal of this campaign was to create buzz about IHOP and to promote their new hamburger menu — but was it worth it? Yes and no. Years from now, the breakfast junkies of the world will still be talking about the days of IHOb, but mostly because we all came to the same conclusion: IHOP should stick to pancakes. But hey, at least they’ll be talking about it and that’s really all that matters.


The Halloween candy converter


We all have that sad memory of sorting through Halloween candy only to discover all the good stuff was gone. Well, this Halloween Reese’s wanted to help us out, so they created a vending machine (only one, located in New York) that would take unwanted candy and exchange it for free Reese’s peanut butter cups.


As you can imagine this created a huge commotion on social media and media outlets. While there was a lot of wallowing that there was only one machine, the people that showed up stood in line to claim 10,000 Reese’s in a short 5-hour time span.


It’s safe to say Reese’s established themselves as the Halloween candy of 2018, but we’re left wondering what candy was the most traded? Just kidding we already know it’s you, Whoppers.


Bud Light’s victory fridges


What do you get when you pair up a world famous American beer with a struggling American football team with the most loyal fan base in the NFL? Well, you get the makings of a viral marketing campaign.


During the month of September, Bud Light partnered with the Cleveland Browns, who had gone 635 days without winning a single football game, to create limited edition fridges that were placed in 10 different Cleveland-area bars. The fridges were to be unlocked when the Browns won their first game and every person at the bar would receive a free beer from the fridge.


This campaign was set up for success from the beginning, by rewarding fan loyalty and building the anticipation for the next victory. The longer it took, the more the Bud Light victory fridges were talked about. Bud Light later developed miniature versions of the fridge that could be purchased on their e-commerce website (they are currently out of stock). One thing is for sure — we’re eagerly awaiting to see what Bud Light has in store for the Super Bowl.

“Paving for Pizza”


Potholes — basically the worst surprise, am I right? Well Domino’s pizza drivers think so too. This summer the pizza chain began their ‘Paving for Pizza’ campaign which promised to fill in potholes on their own dime in several communities around the U.S. to help ensure Domino’s pizzas made it safely to their destinations. The campaign also highlighted Domino’s carry out insurance policy which promises to replace a pizza free of charge if it arrives damaged.


The “Paving for Pizza” campaign instantly went viral — Domino’s fixed 50 potholes on the first day alone. Positive feedback poured in thanking the company for improvements to communities. Six months into the campaign, there’s no doubt that Domino’s earned itself customer loyalty and brand awareness.


We want to hear from you!


Do you have another favorite marketing stunt from 2018 not mentioned here? Tell us about it in the comment section!


Contact Us