Cannes Lions

THEME PARK

FRANK PR, London / ALTON TOWERS RESORT / 2010

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Overview

Description

Our challenge was to generate sustained interest, excitement and hype around the launch of a new rollercoaster, TH13TEEN, at the Alton Towers Resort (ATR).

We set out to make TH13TEEN one of the most talked-about launches of 2010, driving media interest and consumer engagement, with the long-term aim of boosting footfall at the resort.

We developed a six-month strategy to engage media, from generating initial intrigue about the ride to holding a boot camp for 30 ‘ultimate’ rollercoaster fans to the actual celebrity and media launch.

The media plan was restricted by not being able to reveal any details around the ride, specifically its USP, and the ideas therefore had to work creatively around this.

Our results included over 322 pieces of coverage, with a PRV of £9 Million and an ROI of 49:1The ATR Facebook page attracted 200,000 fans and ‘Alton Towers’ trended on twitter the morning after launch.The launch of TH13TEEN is now considered one of Merlin’s most successful attraction launches.

Execution

Intrigue: Announcement • News release revealing name of the ride and positioning it as a ‘psychoaster’• Series of controversial rumours that the ride would have an age limit and waiverHype: News generation• Announcing Simon Cowell’s ex-bodyguard had been appointed Head of Security• Builders stopping work and building a snowcoaster during winter storms• ATR curing builder’s fear of the number 13 • ATR offering ticket including health insurance Engagement: Search for the Ultimate Fan • News release and picture with Alex Reid to launch search via Facebook for the ‘ultimate fans’ to be first on TH13TEEN• Regional profiling of entrants • 30 fans invited to an 'ultimate boot camp' at the resort accompanied by media including Sun, Independent, Sunday Times, Observer and ITV Unveil: Broadcast exclusive • GMTV exclusive USP revealLaunch: Media and celebrity event • Preview event for celebrities and media • Pictures and celeb gossip issued to hit the papers following the launch

Outcome

• 322 pieces of coverage including live USP reveal on GMTV• 200,000 fans on Facebook• 50 key journalists and 10 celebrities attended the launch event • The morning after launch Alton Towers trended on twitter• To date TH13TEEN has been featured in 25 nationals, 12 magazines, 71 regionals, 132 online, 76 radio, 6 TV• PR Value of £9, 067, 593, OTS of 3,049, 475, 426 and ROI of 49:1• Morwenna Angove, Sales and Marketing Director of Alton Towers said:"TH13TEEN was two years in the making and a £15 Million project. All eyes in the business and in the UK were on us to ensure TH13TEEN was a huge PR success. The challenge was to keep TH13TEEN in the news in the six months running up to launch and not just on the launch weekend. PR successfully delivered this and achieved media coverage over and above our expectations. We are thrilled with the results!"

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