It’s no surprise that some publicity stunts have been total flops and completely transparent to the public. Many stunts have been pulled to draw attention to or AWAY from a certain topic, and some have instead caused humiliation for those involved.
Here are the TOP 3 WORST publicity stunts of all time, according to us:
1) TOMKAT: Remember the time when Tom Cruise went a bit crazy? His streak of doing wacky buzz worthy interviews that included excitedly jumping on the couch during his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show and proclaiming his undying love for Katie Holmes; scuffling with the Today Show Host Matt Lauer, when discussing Brooke Shields and anti-depressants. Timing is everything with these kinds of stunts, considering that during this time both Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, had movies coming out.
Unfortunately for Tom Cruise, the PR stunts backfired a bit and tarnished his image for quite some time. Not many people were able to look at him the same; in 2006 Paramount Pictures had ended their 14 year relationship with Tom; and the Gallup Poll showed people’s opinion as “unfavorable” of Tom Cruise due to “unacceptable behavior.”
Lately, his PR team has been really working on turning everything around and putting Tom Cruise on the top favorite list of many movie fans.
2) ONE NIGHT IN CHYNA: If Paris can do it, why can’t I? That must’ve been the thought process behind Joanie Laurer aka
WWE wrestler Chyna’s reasoning to release a sex tape. After Chyna retired from wrestling, she must have missed the spotlight so made major attempts to get back in. In 2004, a sex tape was released by the Red Light District of Chyna’s sexual relations with fellow wrestler Sean Waltman. Attempt 1 to get back in failed, so Chyna signed up to be a cast member on VH1’s reality show- which also failed to bring her back to the A-list status she once was. Persistent Chyna didn’t stop there and in 2009 yet another sex tape was released of Laurer… hm maybe 3rd time will be the charm?
3) BALLOON BOY: Oh to be young and media-hungry again! The number 1 tweeted phrase on October 15, 2009 was “#Balloon Boy,” so as far as PR value- many points earned for the Heene family. As far as productivity of that PR value- zero. The Fort Collins, Colorado family captivated the attention of not only the media, but also the government, federal and local police this past fall when the family cried out for help and broadcast live footage of a home-made helium air balloon making its way across the Colorado skies, with supposedly a six year old boy stuck inside. After hours of rescue efforts and anxiety experienced by all of America, the balloon descended and there was no boy in sight. What started as a frantic search effort, turned out to be a big hoax by the family in order to bring public attention to their family in hopes of obtaining a reality show. The results turned out to be unfavorable for the family to say the least. The public was outraged and demanded the kid to be taken away from the parents; the Heenes received a huge fine from the local government and were sentenced to months in jail, for their offence.
Anyone that says “all publicity is good publicity” is kidding themselves, and these examples are the epitome of how PR can truly damage a career. PR is a powerful tool if executed correctly, so beware guys- there IS such a thing as over-exposure!