Five activations that took to the River Thames

When it comes to creative activations, a slew of brands and agencies are embracing the natural environment. Here, Event takes a look at the top stunts to take place on the Thames.

Airbnb's houseboat floated down the Thames for five days in May (Mikael Buck/Airbnb)
Airbnb's houseboat floated down the Thames for five days in May (Mikael Buck/Airbnb)

Airbnb’s floating houseboat

Online hospitality platform Airbnb sent a blue coloured houseboat down the River Thames for five days in May, to celebrate the arrival of new laws that favour home-sharers.

The home was complete with two bedrooms, a living room, bathroom, doghouse, garden with real grass and an apple tree, and it took four months to build.

Airbnb partnered with production company Star Events to devise the floating house, which hosted a series of events, including a star-studded party and sleepover for one lucky competition winner and three friends, who were treated to spa treatments and a private dining experience. 

Land Rover’s floating rugby ball

An oversized rugby ball was used to carry a Land Rover vehicle down the Thames in May. The 8.2 metre-high ball travelled 25 miles down the river, from the Tilbury Docks to Tower Bridge.

It was moored at Butler’s Wharf, where the bespoke Land Rover Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2015 Defender was unveiled at dawn, when Land Rover ambassador and Rugby World Cup 2003 winner Lewis Moody drove it out of the giant ball.

The vehicle, which is equipped with a specialised integrated cabinet, will be used to transport the Web Ellis Cup throughout the RWC.

Sharknado 3 stunt featuring Jedwood

In July John and Edward Grimes of Jedward fame took to the Thames to promote the impending release of Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, a film in which they both feature.

The stunt saw the pair speed down the river in a boat with sharks attached, giving off the idea that they were being chased by the carnivorous creatures, comprising three species - tiger shark, hammerhead and great white.

Production studio Wild Creations worked on the stunt, which also saw London landmark Tower Bridge raised to let the boat through. 

Thunderbirds Are Go series launch

ITV opted to sail the Thunderbird 4 underwater rescue vehicle, which features in its Thunderbirds Are Go programme, down the Thames in April. 

The stunt, which sought to celebrate the launch of the new series, saw the 15ft fibreglass model pass key London signs including the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and The London Eye. 

The stunt was the work of creative communications agency Taylor Herring, which has recently worked with Sacla and UKTV on similarly creative stunts. 

Santander’s golfing stunt

Rory McIlroy teed-off from a pontoon on the Thames in September last year, to promote the launch of Santander’s 123 World collection of financial productions.

The stunt saw McIlroy take part in a charity challenge, which required that he hit a 123 World-branded target as many times as possible in two minutes, with £13,000 donated to children’s charity NSPCC based on his performance.

Santander selected experiential agency Ear to the Ground for the activation, meanwhile PR company Sidhu & Simon Communications delivered the event. 

More: Five of 2015's best secret events so far

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