Anatomy of a Stunt – Thunderbirds

In our Anatomy of the Stunt series, WXY looks at a homegrown stunt, and one we have become accustomed to; promotion on the Thames.

Yes, if you’ve picked up a tabloid in the past 20 years, there’s no doubt you’ve seen a publicity stunt making its way down the Thames, but just because we’ve seen it before, it doesn’t make them any less effective.

What it is

For the new CGI Thunderbirds are Go TV series, commissioned by ITV and produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures, promotion to a home audience was key, and what better way than to bring one of the iconic Thunderbirds to life. In this instance, the waterborne Thunderbird 4.

What makes it good

High visibility

A bit on the nose, but London is busy; the Thames has lots of eyes on it at all times, making it a hotspot for tourism and user-generated content.  

Go bold or go home

The new CGI approach had the Thunderbirds loyal fan base divided, but that didn’t stop the team for going big on the launch. Other brands might have been tempted to launch quietly in the face of criticism, but not Thunderbirds!

Unashamedly unoriginal

We’ve all seen it before on the Thames, whether that’s X-wings or the Tardis, but this stunt still worked. This iconic bright yellow spaceship lit up an otherwise dull London morning, with the images picked up by outlets including Guardian, the Mirror and Express. So, although it was media relations 101, it got a 10/10 from WXY. The moral of the story: Don’t scoff at rolling out the hits when it comes to a PR stunt.


Our commitment is:

-       Cost-effective. It doesn’t cost as much as you think (no harsh agency mark-up).

-       Logistics. Getting you from a to z, we do all the heavy lifting from creative development to production.

-       Legal savviness. We ensure your stunt complies with territory laws and regulations.

-       Results. Your stunt is not just a one-off, we make sure you keep seeing results for your brand, building on the stunt’s success to fully achieve the awareness and attention your brand deserves.

Anatomy of the stunt is part of WXY’s current campaign to deliver national brand stunts that live in the real world, online, in social media feeds, on the news and delivered to your audience.

Our price pledge

From development to execution, our PR stunts will cost no more than £65,000.

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The only thing that isn’t part of the price pledge is:

-       Media buying (this is any radio, TV, YouTube spots or out of home or mail drop advertising): We are happy to recommend a media buying partner to assist with your campaigns



ExperientialMarc Young