Tag Archives: Publicity Stunts

A LOOK BACK AT 2008: THE YEAR IN ME

Well, 2008 wasn’t the most interesting year I’ve ever had, but it had its moments.  Here are the highlights:

*In March, I became Contributing Producer for the documentary The Passion of Andy Kaufman, about my late friend and performance artist/comedian/song and dance man.

*Also in March, I did 15 interviews (13 with American radio stations, 1 with a station in Australia and 1 with an Irish station) as “Robert Porter,” eccentric dot com millionaire who was offering Senator Hillary Clinton a million dollars to pose for “a series of tasteful nude photos.”  This was ostensibly to demonstrate that Mrs. Clinton really was a different kind of candidate, as she clamed to be, one who didn’t think that the human body was obscene.  The interviews were all done “straight” and the stations thought that Porter was sincere about “his” offer.  I also produced a series of videos for YouTube as Porter in which I challenged the Senator to take my offer.

*In June, I won Radio Shack’s National Invention Contest for my Homeland Security Helmet.  It’s a pith helmet which has a working video camera on it, along with a flashing blue light on top (to notify passers-by that they are being videotaped), two small lights to illuminate the scene being taped and a small sign featuring scrolling LED’s for urgent messages.  I’ll let you judge the sincerity and practicality of my invention.

*In July, again as “Bob Porter,” I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as the proprietor of a company which arranges “staycations” (stay-at-home vacations for people who can’t afford a real vacation).  It should be noted that I do not operate such a company, I do not know anyone who has ever taken one nor have I ever taken one.  According to the WSJ, however, I’m an expert in the field.  I guess that means that I am.

*In September, a photo of me wearing my Homeland Security Helmet (the same photo which won me my Radio Shack Invention prize) was included in “Crust,” a science fiction novel by Lawrence Shainberg, published by Two Dollar Radio.  I appear on page 116 as Dr. Robert Fawck.

There was another noteworthy event in November but I can’t talk about it yet as it was part of another person’s project, details of which haven’t been revealed yet.  I’ll tell you all about it as soon as I can.

So, that was my year.  Like I said, not the biggest, nor the strangest, one I’ve ever had, but interesting nonetheless.

THIS IS SUCH A BRILLIANT IDEA THAT I WISH I THOUGHT OF IT. OH WAIT, I DID.

Man offered $2.2m for his life in Australia

So, this guy in Perth, Australia is auctioning off his entire life. Wow, trading your life in, what a great idea. Gee, I wish I thought of that. Oh, yeah, I did. Twice, actually.

Back in the 1980’s, I got an article in the Express-Times newspaper (then known as the Express) in the Lehigh Valley (Allentown) area of Pennsylvania. I was looking for a celebrity, someone nationally or internationally known in show business, sports or politics to have their name legally changed to mine. If Johnny Carson were to do that, for example, from that point on, the show would be called the Tonight Show with Bob Pagani. That way I could be vicariously famous.

In the 1990’s, I was written about in the Washington Post for offering to trade lives with someone. So, like I said, basically I invented this whole “ditching your life” thing years ago.

My big mistake was coming up with this idea before the Internet really kicked in. This Aussie guy is benefiting from the existence of eBay. I didn’t have that luxury, unfortunately (although I did get some publicity for both of my efforts).

Hey, the breaks are the breaks. I’ve gotten a lot of ink for some of my crazy concepts over the years, so I’m not really complaining. Chances are, this is the one and only time this Perth guy will get this kind of attention. Me, on the other hand, I’ll keep turning up in the press like a bad penny, about once a year on average. A boy needs a hobby, right?

AT THE RISK OF SEEMING IMMODEST…

I’ve just figured something out. At the risk of seeming immodest, I’m WAY more creative than the people who run the “guerrilla marketing” companies whose websites I’ve seen on the Internet.

Sorry, geniuses, but hiring “street teams” via Craigslist is NOT cutting-edge. (For the uninitiated, “street teams” are attractive young people who walk around high-traffic areas and hand out fliers about their employer’s client. Yup, that’s it.) Illegally slapping up posters that look like street graffiti might have been a cool idea about ten years ago, but that ship’s sailed.

There are probably a million things I suck at, including intermediate algebra, but coming up with original creative ideas which can promote products and people’s careers isn’t one of them. About three weeks ago, I came up with an idea which is apparently going to be used by a young artist to promote his career. I can’t talk about it yet, but I’ll let you know if and when he actually does it and makes the news. Just yesterday, a friend asked me if I had an idea that could help a friend of his promote her diet book. Yes, I did have one as a matter of fact, a damn good one. If the author doesn’t go for it, she’s out of her friggin’ mind, it’s that good.

After looking at what passes for “guerrilla marketing” in America today, I decided on a new goal for my life. I want to become the King of Publicity Stunts. I don’t even want to call what I do “guerrilla marketing”; that’s a pretentious euphemism for good old fashioned publicity stunts. Let’s just call things what they are without the Web 2.0 nonsense, shall we?

So, who needs a good publicity stunt in their life? Any radio DJ’s out there who are getting overlooked by their corporate management? I feel your pain, I’ve been there. Any small retailers who need to get some press? Who are you, where are you? Holla at your boy (don’t you hate it when white guys try to be cool?)

OK, SO I GET THESE IDEAS FROM TIME TO TIME, RIGHT?

BAMN!

This “hip” new restaurant in Greenwich Village looks a whole lot like the old Horn & Hardart Automats that were all over Manhattan when I was a kid.  Back then, they were populated by old people who would sit around all day over a cup of coffee and perhaps a piece of pie.  Now, judging from the picture on the front page, it’s where reasonably attractive girl-next-door types (probably NYU students) congregate.

Anyhoo, I get ideas from time to time that would generate publicity for certain kinds of businesses.  I’m going to put hints to some of them up on this blog, in the hopes that people who actually own those kinds of businesses will pay me to walk them through the idea, thereby profiting from the fruit of my massive brain.  I’m the guy who thought up the idea to “protest” when Binney and Smith changed eight of their Crayola colors, which sold millions of dollars worth of crayons for them.  In 2006, I was the guy who hoaxed the press by pretending to be the winner of the largest-ever Powerball lottery.  That one got me on Good Morning, America (I’ve been on the Today Show, Oprah, Lie Detector and tons of other TV shows, too.  I’ve also been written about in Time, Life and People magazines  as well as the New York Times, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.)

Yes, I have a real idea to get press for this “BAMN!” place.  If you know the owners, or if you ARE the owners, contact me ASAP.  I can give (sell) you an idea that will generate business and publicity for your New Wave Automat.