Anyone running a small business knows that one of the most difficult challenges is effective publicity. If people don't know the business exists, they won't walk through the doors—and a business location, staff and start-up capital become irrelevant points.
Publicity can be acquired with billboard space or TV commercials, but many small businesses just don't have that kind of money. For mom and pops, a little creativity and a flair for the theatrical can go a long way. In short, they need to rely on good old-fashioned, attention-grabbing publicity stunts.
Some businesses have seen stunts become catalysts that take them to the next level. Others see efforts fizzle out, and in some cases turn into horrific disasters. But while there's no guarantee a publicity stunt will accomplish what it's designed to do, many businesses take that route anyway, always hoping for the best.
Here's a list of businesses that engaged in noteworthy plays for the public's attention. Some of these businesses used promotions that exceeded expectations. Other businesses made headlines and were soon forgotten, and others were unmitigated calamities. But whatever the case, all these businesses deserve credit for trying to do something a little different.
Read ahead to see our list of outrageous publicity stunts engaged in by small businesses over the years.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Updated 06 June 2013