Best Practice from SKV Communications
SKV Communications were appointed by visitBlackpool in March 09 for a six month campaign.
The main objectives behind the campaign were:
• To bring Blackpool front-of-mind among UK holidaymakers in time for the start of the summer season.
• To encourage Brits to take a fresh look at Blackpool as a holiday destination (the client is aware of the negative perceptions associated with the resort).
• To raise awareness of Blackpool among opinion-forming journalists, create a new ‘buzz’ in traditional and online media.
With 2009 dubbed as the ‘Year of the British Holiday’, SKV knew every UK seaside towns would be jostling to make the national news agenda, so we needed to come up with something innovative that would make Blackpool stand out from its competitors.
SKV recommended that we create a humorous viral film playing on the similarities between the Eiffel and Blackpool Towers. We felt that marketing to the French in light of the strong Euro would provide a unique storyline, even if UK holidaymakers were Visit Blackpool's primary audience.
SKV advised that the film be offered to national broadcast news ahead of online portals, with offline media to be followed with concerted online PR to maximise talkabilty and internet traffic.
The film was designed both for its humour and newsworthiness and for its peer-to-peer distribution potential via YouTube and other online platforms.
Rather than aiming for a ‘viral-to-news’ story, where the take-up by the public of a short video on You Tube persuades the media to make it a story, our strategy was to give the film to the BBC exclusively to embed it as part of the Breakfast TV schedules to kick start the campaign.
• Film scripted by SKV.
• Researched and sourced technicians
• The film was tagged for Search Engine Optimisation
• Timing was everything. SKV brought forward the launch date by 3 weeks to coincide with BBC's The Apprentice scheduled makeover of Margate.
• Film offered exclusively to BBC Network News one week before the transmission of The Apprentice.
• As the news agenda was full of MP’s expenses, we took advantage of owning a contrasting ‘lite’, visual news story of an iconic holiday resort employing an innovative way of attracting tourists.
• Once the story had broken on the BBC, SKV kick-started an intensive national publicity and word of mouth campaign. We had two team members in the resort all day, supplying other media with interviews, locations, and the film on DVD format
• YouTube links and release sent to influential tourism bloggers
• SKV set up Facebook fan sites and began Twittering as soon as the story broke. YouTube link sent to relevant Blackpool and tourism fan sites and online news portals
• 350 pieces plus of editorial coverage (including UTalkMarketing!)
• 1 hour 42 mins of TV coverage, including BBC1 Breakfast, and BBC1, ITV, C5, SKY lunchtime, evening, early evening and Ten PM news. BBC News Channel and Sky covered as rolling news. 2hrs 8mins of radio, including BBC Radio 1, 2, 4,6 and Five Live as well as regional BBC and commercial stations all over the UK. BBC Radio 1 Saturday 16th featured an eight minute talk-up by DJ Nihal.
• Circulation: 62,713,292/ Opportunities to see/hear: 81,583,298
• Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE): £1,458,003/ PR Value: £5,103,010
• 355 tweets on Twitter that have a total following of 117,481 including key commercial tweets from Telegraph Travel – Daily Telegraph Travel, Telegraph MG – Daily Telegraph paper itself, Guardian News, Guardian Travel, The Sun Video, ITN News video channel, Travelmail, The Express on Sunday, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday among others.
• Over 60,000 users have watched the film via YouTube sources, of which there are currently five channels.
• Featured on more than 50 worldwide blogs including Mail Online, Telegraph Travel, Guardian Travel, Travel Weekly and PR Week’s Points of Hugh.
Return on investment (ROI): Circa £20,000 spend means that for every £ invested in PR, 255.15 times that figure was recouped in PR Value.
Business facts: The Visit Blackpool website has now had 58,879 visits this year to date (the site had 56,109 visits in the whole of 2008). Two weeks after the campaign and Visit Blackpool's website analytics report that daily traffic has quadrupled compared to 2008.
Relation to objectives and cost-effectiveness
Achieved overwhelming public awareness. This campaign exceeded its objectives to start the process of changing consumer perceptions of Blackpool by associating it with humour, charm and sophistication.
The film, along with its winning lines 'Casserole de Lancashire', 'Otpot' and 'Oui love, Oui' feature heavily in blogs and chatrooms, clearly linked to the emergence of a new, positive brand identity for Blackpool. The ROI figures demonstrate that the campaign was incredibly cost-effective.
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