Interesting little guerrilla activity from Hungary. The stunt was a get out the vote initiative to combat years of declining turnout for Parliamentary elections.[youtube]<object width=”640″ height=”385″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/cNNTnAPkRvQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0″></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/cNNTnAPkRvQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” width=”640″ height=”385″></embed></object>[/youtube]
- This could not have cost a lot of money
- The initiative generated significant media coverage (which in Chris Penn-speak, is an important diagnostic measure of a PR stunt)
- Voter turnout (the objective measure) declined by 3% in the first round of elections. However, to say that this meant the guerrilla campaign was ineffective would be wrong. You have to ask the counterfactual – would it have fallen more, absent the media coverage? In any event, establishing causal linkages between this activity and turnout is difficult.
A key lesson here is that you don’t need to spend zillions to put together a guerrilla activity that generates significant coverage. Perhaps a more important takeaway is that stunts are not a panacea. If you design and carry out a lot of guerrilla activity, be aware of this latter point. Execs tend to think that because a stunt has a certain “cool” factor it will save the day. As with any one tool viewed in isolation, this is rarely the case.