The transformative power of PR stunts

Blizzard Entertainment grabbed a lot of attention by putting a giant axe in a New York taxi. Big stunts have done wonders for some other brands, too.

Blizzard Entertainment’s recent PR stunt involving a giant battle axe and a New York City taxi follows a long line of campaigns that have made the seemingly nerdy appear unquestionably cool. Lots of seemingly boring or uncool activities have benefited from clever PR stunts, and here are five of the best examples.

1. Blizzard’s battle-hardened cab

Passersby saw a 15-foot battle axe was seen piercing the roof of a New York cab in Times Square last month. It was a promotion for “Warlords of Draenor,” the new “World of Warcraft” expansion. Whichever way you cut it, “World of Warcraft” is not “cool.” It just ain’t. It’s extremely popular; the massively multiplayer online role-playing game was brilliantly satirised by Comedy Central’s “South Park and went viral on YouTube when rogue agent Leeroy Jenkins abandoned his team’s carefully calculated strategy in a move that resulted in instant slaughter. People seem to be laughing at players at times. Blizzard’s latest PR stunt was very cool, however. Sure, most passersby probably didn’t recognise the axe as the legendary axe wielded by orc father and son team Grom Hellscream and Garrosh, but that didn’t matter. The people who play the game got it. For those who didn’t, there was a 15-foot axe sticking out of a cab. That’s worth a second glance at least, and maybe even a trip to buy the game itself.

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