In the past decade the PR industry has been responsible for floating quite an absurd number of “stunts” down our beloved Thames river with the hope that people will snap, tweet and chat about their brands. The Green PG Tips monkey was the last straw and now I feel it necessary to document these mostly unimaginative, non-memorable stunts for future reference.
Baywatch Beach Ball – May 2017
It’s been a year since the Green Tea PG Tips Monkey drifted down the Thames and received a backlash from bored PRs about the unimaginative approach. Sightings have been confirmed of a giant beach ball being pumped up near Westminster plastered with the movie star names’ Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. We will update you as this story develops.
Green PG Tips Monkey – May 2016
To amplify PG Tips’ new Green Tea push, a giant PG Tips monkey mascot was towed down the Thames. The two-storey, six-metre high structure was made of 110,486 fabricated green leaves.
Ebay – October 2015
EBay ferried a six metre tall birthday cake down the Thames to celebrate its two decade anniversary.
Sharknado 3 – July 2015
Jedward took to the Thames to promote the impending release of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a film in which they both featured.
The stunt saw the pair sped down the river in a boat with tiger sharks, hammerheads and great whites attached.
This one was actually pretty hilarious!
Air BnB – May 2015
Online hospitality platform Airbnb sent a blue coloured houseboat down the River Thames for five days to celebrate the arrival of new laws that favour home-sharers.
Land Rover – May 2015
An oversized rugby ball was used to carry a Land Rover vehicle down the Thames. The 8.2 metre-high ball traveled 25 miles down the river, from the Tilbury Docks to Tower Bridge.
Thunderbirds – April 2015
A replica of Thunderbird 4 was winched on to the river in east London before making its way past landmarks including the London Eye and Westminster to mark the return of Thunderbirds to TV.
Totally Thames – September 2014
To mark the start of Totally Thames 2014, artist Florentijn Hofman navigated a giant model hippopotamus from Greenwich to Nine Elms
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – July 2014
A kite replica of “Toothless” the dragon flew for around 20 minutes in a stunt by 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks to promote How to train your dragon 2 featuring Cate Blanchett and Gerard Butler.
The dragon kite larger than a double-decker London bus flew through Tower Bridge before landing safely in the water by Tower Pier on the North Bank of the river.
National Lottery – October 2013
Six lotto balls illuminated the Thames to “celebrate the new bigger lotto” (i.e. the price had doubled to £2)
Jackpotjoy – December 2012
A giant 50ft rubber duck swapped bath time for a trip up the Thames after setting sail from Canary Wharf. The stunt was the brainchild of online bingo company Jackpotjoy.com ahead of the launch of its Facebook FUNdation bursary.
Cadbury – June 2011
Cadbury created an amphibious ice cream van to mark National Ice Cream Week and highlight how vans are being driven off the roads by soaring fuel costs and council red tape.
‘HMS Flake 99’, which had a top speed of five knots, chimed Rod Stewart’s classic ‘We Are Sailing’ and sported the slogan ‘licensed to chill’.
Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan – March 2009
Dr Manhattan, the blue skinned, no pants wearing, super-being beloved of all Watchmen fans towered above the crowds who’d gathered on the river bank in central London to see the event. Unfortunately due to weather conditions, it wasn’t quite spectacular as they hoped.