Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Publicity stunts for the publicity junkie

People do some pretty weird and amazing stunts, and word of these stunts spreads like wildfire on the net thanks to the distribution of funnies and featuring on blogs (such as BoingBoing).

In this post I said:

I'd like to set up a 'fifteen minutes of fame' blog/website where simple ideas like this are listed and people can adopt the ideas to bring their own fifteen minutes of fame.

I've devised a simple template/method that can be used to dream up daft (and hopefully interesting!) stunts.

The template takes the form:

Ultimate X-ing of X-object.

Stage 1: Name X-object

I will pick a word (for the 'X') by using pangram trigger or taking a word from directed association results. I form a directive "Name X-object" and think of a possibility. So, with "Name car-object" for example, I could name: a tyre.

Stage 2: Ultimate X-ing

Again using pangram trigger or a word from directed association results I form a verb. (Even if the verb is a word that is not in the dictionary.)

Stage 3: Complete template

So, if the verb is 'inflate' I use this to complete the template, giving:

Ultimate inflating of tyre.

Stage 4: Use template to think of idea

Which to me suggests a stunt that would inflate a tyre and keep inflating until it bursts. Mpegs of this could be made and put on a website/blog/email funny etc. The project could be expanded so that any inflatable product could be inflated to the point of 'explosion'. Or...maybe the template could suggest that inflatables could be filled with helium or hydrogen.

More examples

Name household object = fridge
Name X-ing = crushing
Template idea = ultimate crushing of fridge
Idea: household objects such as a fridge could be crushed in one of those machines for crushing cars at junkyards. It would be interesting to see the size of various objects after crushing. (Perhaps a collection of crushed objects could be used to build a 'house'. A house built from crushed fridges...that's the sort of crazy stunt that would end up on BoingBoing (or as a nomination for the Turner Prize.))

Template idea = ultimate positioning of crocodile
Idea = It would be interesting to see the effect the snapping of a crocodile's jaws has on various objects. Perhaps a 'mock up' (a kind of crash test dummy) of a person could be made to see the effect a crocodile attack has.

Template idea = ultimate coming of fishing rod
Idea = Is there a world record for the furthest fishing cast? Perhaps there could be a tournament. (An Olympics for entirely new sports?)

Template idea = ultimate calming of audience
Idea = There are stage hypnotists. What if a stage hypnotist hypnotised the entire audience? Would be interesting to see a room full of people hypnotised to think they are the most important person in the room.

Template idea = ultimate hotting of aqualung
Idea = Heat up an aqualung until it explodes. (There could be a betting shop/website for 'alternative' events where gamblers can gamble on 'alternative' events such as the time of the aqualung explosion.)

Template idea = ultimate soliding of trampoline.
Idea = (I made up the word 'soliding'.) What does this suggest? A solid trampolene would be pretty useless. But could the opposite apply where a trampolene is made even more bouncy than the norm? There could be a 'super trampolene' that, by some means, bounces the person up to a great height.

Template idea = ultimate parting of trampoline
Idea = A row of trampolines could be positioned over a distance (perhaps 100m) and races could be held where the participants race each other by bouncing from one trampoline to the next. (Perhaps another event for the 'Olympics of new sports').

Template idea = ultimate testing of racing pigeon.
Idea = The ultimate race for racing pigeons could be held. The pigeons could be released at an extreme place - such as the North Pole. Bookmakers could be involved. There could be a series of 'ultimate races' for animals and humans.

Template idea = ultimate spacing of printed-circuit board.
Idea = A normal household PC could be expanded to fill a whole room. Perhaps this could be done somewhere like the Tate Modern - the computer would be expanded to fill the whole room and people could walk among the components. Also, there could be 'mile-long computer' where a normal computer would be 'stretched' to be a mile long. There could be a restriction so that the computer is no more than a centimetre thick at any point.

Other thoughts as a result of this approach

The ultimate sign: in some places (often tourist spots) you can see signs that point to prominent places (countries, capital cities etc) and give the distance. An internet version could be done: you would enter your postcode and the site would give you the distance to the world's countries and cities.

From: ultimate sizing of potato. A website could compile a collection of photos of the largest fruits and vegetables. A book such as the Guinness Book of Records could expand onto the internet where there would be a library of photos of superlatives.

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