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Industry Airports, Business equipment & services, Corporate Image
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United Kingdom
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Live Events and or Celebrity endorsement
Product/Service: CORPORATE IMAGE
Gatwick Marketing: Pat Conway (London Gatwick Airport)
Gatwick Marketing: Kim Francis (London Gatwick Airport)
Gatwick Marketing: Natalie Lynch (London Gatwick Airport)
Managing Director: Marc Smith (Heart Production)
Director: Tim Hall (DNX Marketing)
Senior Manager: Emily Aylott (DNX Marketing)
Media placement: Broadcast - ITV London Tonight (2.55 mins; reach 3,700.000) - 16.12.2009
Media placement: Broadcast - BBC News 24 (0.58 mins; reach 98,000) - 16.12.2009
Media placement: Print - (circ 2,958,502) - 16.12.2009
Media placement: Print - OK! (Circ 551,765) - 05.01.2010

Summary of the Campaign
The brief was to create a fun, Christmas-themed passenger experience 'airside' at Gatwick Airport. Objectives were to engage, entertain and leave travellers with a positive sentiment about the airport, whilst securing media coverage and brand awareness. Playing on people’s festive spirit, we created The Gatwick Factor, building a 13 foot, inflatable, perspex, iconic snow globe complete with Christmas trees, snow and hi-tech karaoke system. Held over nine day’s pre-Christmas, passengers were invited into the globe to sing songs for charity and the chance to win a luxury holiday. We wanted mass coverage and hype, so contacted the nation’s hottest TV show at the time – The X Factor. Not only did we recruit the most popular X Factor contestants, Stacey Solomon and Olly Murs to open our event, but we carefully timed our launch to three days after the X Factor Final which meant The Gatwick Factor was their first 'gig' after leaving the show. The charity angle combined with newsworthiness, entertaining and quirky nature of our event caused the nation’s media to take notice. The campaign exceeded expectations on a number of levels: blanket coverage, high numbers of public voting, plus overwhelmingly positive feedback from passengers and staff alike.

The Goal
Objectives: Give passengers an enjoyable, fun and memorable experience, ensuring they left with positive sentiments about Gatwick, whilst promoting the activity to wider audiences via editorial coverage. Previous customer research revealed a key factor preventing passengers from enjoying their airport experience was being in the wrong mindset. Therefore, our activity needed to help get passengers into a happy, holiday mood. Furthermore, the press was saturated with festive stories and our target audience were tired, busy travellers desperate to get away for Christmas, so we needed something eye catching, interactive and newsworthy to ensure media cut through and genuine passenger engagement.

Campaign ROI reached 1:22 and for every £1 spent it reached 1,390 people. 86% of passengers said Gatwick Factor made their airport experience more enjoyable. 77% of passengers said Gatwick Factor helped them get in the holiday spirit Over 2/3 of passengers expressed positive engagement with the event. 45% of passengers would be more likely to fly from Gatwick if similar entertainment was provided. 93% of passengers said Gatwick Factor is the sort of activity Gatwick should be putting on for their passengers. Mass coverage secured - highlights included BBC News, London Tonight, 5 News, Studio 5 Live, Capital FM, Heart FM, Radio 1, The Sun, Metro and OK! Twitter and Facebook went wild with comments. 72 pieces of coverage over 2 weeks PR value: £2,769,972 Advertising value: £923,324 OTS: 199,851,919 22,198 votes from over 112 countries received 54,235 visitors

We created The Gatwick Factor and built an iconic snow globe in terminal, complete with Christmas trees, snow and a karaoke system. It was branded to communicate key messages, provide a backdrop for media and create a fun, festive experience for passengers. We launched with a celebrity, media day and the event ran for nine days pre-Christmas. Passengers were invited into the globe to sing their favourite songs for charity and the chance to win a holiday to the Northern Lights. The prize was sourced for free in return for branding throughout the campaign. All performances were uploaded to a dedicated microsite, and the public invited to vote for their favourites. Text and email reminders were sent to participants encouraging votes. The site was optimised for social media functionality with click-throughs to facebook, twitter, digg and bebo. In the spirit of giving, the campaign raised money for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The Situation
Gatwick had very recently been sold by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) so it was very important that all marketing activity helped build the airport’s profile and secure as much positive brand awareness, media coverage and buzz as possible. Gatwick needed stand out from the other BAA airports during the busy Xmas period and needed to be seen as a fun and exciting airport.

The Strategy
Playing on the popularity of karaoke at Christmas we created the Gatwick Factor. Launched by singing celebrities, the nine day experience brought festive cheer to passengers in terminal, embodying the season of good will by raising funds for charity. We negotiated a partnership with X Factor to secure runners-up Stacey Solomon and Olly Murs to appear at our launch. Carefully timed to take place three days after the televised final, The Gatwick Factor was their first 'gig' after leaving the show. Press interest was huge. Creatively, media loved the quirkiness of Olly and Stacey performing in our giant snow globe. Passengers also revelled in the unexpected entertainment and immersed themselves completely in the charitable competition by singing festive tunes. Our traditional PR sell-in was supported by social media outreach, informing bloggers about the event and celebrity involvement plus distributing images and status updates via the Gatwick Twitter account and Flickr.