Watch Bravo Unleash 60 Almost Nude Models on Austin in Risqué Stunt for Its New Show

Attention getting activation for 'Stripped'

Video: John Tejada
Headshot of Alfred Maskeroni

It’s not exactly simple to pull of a successful brand activation that translates well in real life and across all platforms. So how does a cable television brand promote its new show? Bravo descended on Austin to promote their new series ‘Stripped’—a social experiment where participants are forced to shed all of their material possessions for 21 days.

In a flash-mob style activation—in the pouring rain, no less—60 locally-based models with #Stripped painted on their bodies, undressed down to nude-colored tights and surprised unsuspecting conference attendees in the streets surrounding the Austin Convention Center.

See also: The Ultimate Roundup of This Year’s SXSW Experiential Marketing Activations

The combination of the seemingly nude bodies (huddled at times under transparent umbrellas) and the unfortunate weather conditions certainly made for an awkward juxtaposition, worthy of quite a few raised brows, awkward glances and camera phone snaps.

Adam Zeller, vp of social media for Bravo/Oxygen took the weather in stride telling Adweek, “Cutting through the clutter here at SXSW—having people scantily clad—having them try to find things to cover up, and it being such a rainy day today, it’s probably SXSW flash mob meets Flash Dance.”

One could argue, the stunt aptly amplified the bizarre premise of the show about being totally uncomfortable and without your creature comforts—and in that state of vulnerability, making others embarrassed themselves. On the other hand, maybe you think it’s just another cheap stunt using skin to promote a silly product, because well, “sex sells.”

Or maybe it’s both—but that’s for you to decide.

Take a look at the video above and here more from Zeller and watch the scene unfold.

The first season of ‘Stripped’ premiers this summer on Bravo. 

@maskeroni Alfred Maskeroni is director of video for Adweek.