Astley Media’s PR Assistant, Abi Bramhall, blogs about a new TV programme that took the steps to ‘stand up and stand out’ in London recently.

Picture this: the heart of London alive with the hustle and bustle of commuters heading to the office, tourists taking pictures of Big Ben, street performers entertaining crowds of children and the Underground full to the brim. An everyday scene in London right? However, if you were in London on 27th January, you may have noticed an incredible life-sized Polar bear puppet roaming the streets.

The 8ft Polar bear was designed to promote Sky Atlantic’s new crime drama, Fortitude. The Polar bear, which was operated by two character actors and took two months to build, was unleashed upon unsuspecting members of the public. It strode through busy parts of the city and even rode the tube.

The campaign was a social media hit. #Fortitude was a top trend on Twitter throughout the day with people posting countless photographs of the puppet. By creating a stunt that was so attention grabbing, people were inevitably going to whip their mobile phones out and start snapping away, uploading their images onto numerous social media accounts.

The Polar bear might not obviously promote the show, but the stunt relies on the curiosity of the public. I came across the #Fortitude trend on Twitter that very afternoon and wanted to find out more so read a news article on the show. I was so intrigued that I decided to tune in to the first episode on 29th January and have stuck with it to date.

A similar campaign took place in summer 2014, when Liverpool played host to a street theatre performance by giant marionettes to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War. The three-day event proved to be extremely popular with over 600,000 people watching the production.

PR campaigns such as Fortitude’s Polar bear and the Liverpool giants are a recipe for success. Displaying a gigantic puppet in the middle of the UKs largest city grabs attention, creates conversations and results in great publicity for the brand.