This first came to our attention last year when Indian telecoms company Aircel saw a pretty safe bet pay off in spectacular fashion.
During the monsoon season they put up a billboard next to a renowned flood-spot, the Milan subway station. Along with their logo and the strap line “In case of emergency, cut rope”, they tied a real rescue boat to the board. Sure enough the rains came and the boat got its maiden voyage as branded Aircel staff cut it down to offer “emergency transport” to the stranded commuters.
Functional marketing at its brilliant best!