LAUNCH OF TH13TEEN by Frank Pr for Alton Towers

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LAUNCH OF TH13TEEN

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Industry Leisure Parks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Agency Frank Pr
Director Alex Grier
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Launch or Re-launch
Advertiser: ALTON TOWERS RESORT
Product/Service: THEME PARK
Director: Alex Grier (Frank PR)
Senior Account Manager: Kate Brackenborough (Frank PR)
Account Executive: Tom Antoniw (Frank PR)
Junior Account Executive: Sophie Kay (Frank PR)
Media placement: Exclusive Reveal Of The USP With A Broadcaster - GMTV - 17th March 2010
Media placement: Exclusive Preview Features Set Up With National Press - Sunday Times - 21st March 2010
Media placement: Launch Event Attended By Celebrities And The Media - Daily Star Sunday - 21st March 2010
Media placement: Alex Reid Launches Search For Ultimate Adrenaline Junkies For Alton Towers Resor - The Sun - 2nd February 2010
Media placement: ATR Worker Conquers A Phobia Of The Number 13 - Daily Star - 22nd Jan
Media placement: ATR Workmen Take A Break From The Construction Of New Ride 'Thirteen' To Create - Bbc.co.uk - 6th Jan 2010
Media placement: ATR Announces Launch Of New Coaster Thirteen And Reveals Some Of The Details Beh - The Times - 11th December 2009
Media placement: ATR Considers Selling Off The Front Seats On The First Ride Of Its Brand New Rol - Metro.co.uk - 8th December
Media placement: SW6 Track Arrives Under Extreme Security - Liverpool Gazette - 5th December 2009
Media placement: ATR Employs Tony ‘X Factor’ Adkins As Security Consultant On SW6 - The Sun - 21st November 2009
Summary of the Campaign
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.
The Goal
Our campaign objectives were:- Drive interest in the build of a new rollercoaster at ATR- Reinforce ATR’s positioning as the leading UK visitor attraction for thrill seeker entertainment- Take the brand off the travel pages and in to news and broadcast media- Develop a media plan which engages both the existing ATR fan base as well as the general public- Create one of the most talked-about launches of 2010Our target audience was UK families and thrill seekers (generally male 18-28)
Results
• 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!"
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
The Situation
TH13TEEN was a £15 Million investment for ATR and their biggest new ride since the launch of Rita in 2005. The ride launch was part of a wider business strategy for ATR and their parent company Merlin, aiming to offer the latest in entertainment technology and drive increased footfall at the resortOur challenge was:1. Generate awareness of new ride build amongst the media and consumers – without revealing the USP2. Drive sustained noise around the ride through to launch 3. Launch the ride to the public and media
The Strategy
Our strategy was 5-fold:1. Intrigue: generate awareness by releasing details of the new ride (without revealing USP)2. Hype: sustain interest in the ride build through a series of news stories 3. Engagement: Motivate existing fan-base and new consumers on and offline and drive further media interest with a search for ultimate fans4. Unveil: Exclusive reveal of the USP with a broadcaster5. Launch: Event attended by celebrities and the media