8 stunts that used signs to make a huge impact
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Signs make a big impact on everyday life and the impression that can be generated by a simple design can be astounding, hence the use of signage in some of the biggest publicity stunts of our time!

1. The Hollywood Sign

Hollywood re-envisioned into Hollyweed in a stunt by local artistHollywood re-envisioned into Hollyweed in a stunt by local artist

This iconic landmark has been gazing out over the Los Angeles vista for over 90 years and has become an international symbol of the entertainment industry. However, a little-known fact is that its original purpose was a large-scale marketing stunt by a real-estate developer who wanted to sell houses in an undesirable suburb of Los Angeles. More recently, the Hollywood sign was part of a second stunt, wherein a Los Angeles artist, Zachary Cole Fernandez, used tarpaulin to change the spelling of the sign to ‘Hollyweed’! 2. Sexing up Parliament

Gail Porter causes a stir with FHM sign projected onto ParliamentGail Porter causes a stir with FHM sign projected onto Parliament

As part of a stunt by FHM magazine, a 100ft tall Gail Porter was projected onto the Houses of Parliament in 1999 and yes, stark naked! The stunt was executed to promote a magazine poll to find the world’s 100 sexiest women. 3. A Cheeky Fly By

Virgin Atlantic humiliates large rival British AirwaysVirgin Atlantic humiliates large rival British Airways

Richard Branson, renowned for his publicity stunts, went a step further when Virgin Atlantic’s major competitor, British Airways, encountered construction problems when developing the London Eye (which it sponsored). Branson hijacked BA’s press launch by deploying an enormous airship with the graphics “BA CAN’T GET IT UP!!” plastered across it. Not a great day for BA… But, a stunt that got Virgin’s popularity soaring. 4. In Search of Redemption

Greenpeace fly the flag for the environment in RioGreenpeace fly the flag for the environment in Rio

In 2002, Greenpeace activists scaled Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to hang a gigantic banner that protested the results of the World Summit on sustainability. This is not the first-time Greenpeace has climbed into the realms of PR stunt history, having got to the top of the Shard, the treasury building and Big Ben in London alone. 5. America’s First Dot Com City

Welcome to Half.com in OregonWelcome to Half.com in Oregon

Half.com, an online discount retailer, paid $100,000 plus extra subsidiaries to a small town in Oregon called Halfway. The deal was that the town would adopt the name Half.com for a year to promote the website. The successful stunt saw the online retailer gain huge popularity, so much so that eBay bought Half.com for $300 million shortly after. 6. KFC in Space

Tiles creating a gigantic KFC logo seen from spaceTiles creating a gigantic KFC logo seen from space

In 2006, fried chicken chain, KFC, constructed a gigantic image of their mascot the Colonel in the Mojave Desert. The image, constructed from 65,000 1-foot-square tiles took 6-days to construct and was visible from space ! 7. Doh, that’s good!

Homer in ChalkHomer in Chalk

Television Producer, Fox, created a 70m x 50m chalk drawing of Homer Simpson in his underwear on a hillside in 2007. The stunt drew attention to the release of the Simpsons Movie and definitely caught attention! 8. Pandamonium In 2008, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) placed 1,600 papier mache pandas (the number of pandas left on the planet at that time – since then numbers have been rising steadily) on display under the Eiffel Tower. The stunt was designed to raise awareness about the endangered species and those things that jeopardise their habitats. Want to maximise your exposure? Use temporary signs and graphics, bespoke displays or large-scale banners to really stand out!

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