The key strategic goal for attracting UK travellers to the Islands of the Bahamas was to increase the profile for all 16 islands by communicating their range and diversity, while delivering a marketing strategy that will have longevity.
Keeping within the same, broad long-term Bahamas brand idea of storytelling, this was the chance for couples to tell their story with the message, “Your wedding is one of the biggest stories of your life”.
The Bahamas Tourism’s marketing agency recruited Fox Kalomaski Crossing (FKC) to carry out an on and offline, UK-wide promotion. The strategic direction of the weddings promotion embraced these six key specific objectives:
1. Increase the profile of the Bahamas as a destination for weddings and honeymoons
2. Grow the customer database, capturing data from prospective honeymooners as well as holiday makers.
3. Use a promotional strategy to enable partnerships with both tourism and non-tourism brands
4. Maximise interest in the Bahamas before, during and after the campaign
5. Increase visitor numbers
6. Create a ‘halo’ effect for future visitors e.g. honeymooners, those looking to renew their vows or romantic adventurers
A UK wide promotion was launched to find 16 couples to take their wedding vows, in 16 simultaneous wedding ceremonies across the 16 main islands of the Bahamas, extending the invitations to family and friends of the bridal couple.
FKC created a bahamas16weddings.co.uk micro-site as competition mechanic and host for all content, exploited social media to drive interest to the micro-site, grow a community and create conversations with consumers.
Couples were also targeted via 30 second commercials on Wedding TV, and the wedding planners and hoteliers based in the Bahamas brought their services to the UK consumer market.
FKC created a strong identity for the promotion, the key elements being the logo and microsite with the name ‘The Bahamas 16 Wedding Invitation’ which communicated the number 16 (to reinforce the diversity and choice of islands) and convey Bahamian fun while creating a sense of a collective event within an overall wedding theme.
The most important function of the site was to present the 16 weddings and the 16 islands in an engaging and user friendly way to enable couples to find the wedding and island that fitted with their style and personality.
Couples were invited to upload photos and videos explaining why they should get married in the Bahamas, on which of the 16 Island ceremonies. Friends, family and the public were then encouraged to sign up as ‘Guests’ in order to also win a holiday to the Bahamas.
Fifteen couples were chosen by a panel of judges with one couple selected by the public. Campaign activity also included brides-to-be being invited to a ‘Get fit boot camp’ with Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendelton.
On May 16th all 16 couples married in simultaneous marriage ceremonies in the Bahamas at 16:00hrs.
According to the agency, the campaign generated these results:
- On Facebook, the Bahamas 16 Weddings group grew from around 2500 before the promotion to over 9000, plus 47,402 unique visitors to the microsite and 47,030 viral reach
- Year on year growth to the Bahamas is up 3% whereas most of the Caribbean competitor destinations are delivering negative growth and Kuoni increased sales year on year to The Bahamas by 71%
- The 16 Weddings promotion won the Most Innovative Marketing Campaign Award 2013, by The Chartered institute of Marketing
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