State of Alaska
Working with the trade to generate new routes to market for Alaska
The role is twofold, to drive new routes to market, working with the UK tour operators and airlines and the wider travel trade, and to manage the tourism PR for the state, generating high profile exposure in target media.
In 2013, LOTUS was briefed to increase routes to market to Alaska, by working hand in hand with the UK travel industry, whilst generating high level media exposure for new land tours. The PR focus was to educate the travel trade on how to sell Alaska and to highlight to the consumer the ease of travelling to and around Alaska.
LOTUS was tasked to raise the profile of the state in both the travel trade press and the consumer press, ultimately targeting the 50+ consumer with a high disposable income. LOTUS built a strategy based on Alaska’s strapline ‘Beyond your dreams. Within your reach’, focusing on educating the trade and consumer.
LOTUS worked hand in hand with the UK tour operators to develop 15 new land based itineraries and partnered airline Icelandair in an aggressive travel training campaign, reaching over 2,000 travel agents in a twelve month period.
LOTUS generated over 140 positive Alaska travel articles in the UK consumer and travel trade press. LOTUS also assisted with a number of high profile broadcast projects.
Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza
Launching Europe’s first Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza
The aim was to create a strategic media campaign involving pre-launch, launch and post launch activity to drive media interest in Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza (the first Hard Rock Hotel in Europe) and result in high impact coverage. This needed to rapidly drive sales and bookings in order for the first season to be deemed a success.
The pre-launch period kicked off at World Travel Market in London in November 2013, holding interviews with key travel editors and sponsoring the key event of the week long trade fair – the TTG (leading UK travel trade publication) party.
Two months from launch a UK media event was held highlighting one of the most impactful gastronomic elements of the hotel; ‘Sublimotion’, an interactive and sensory restaurant created by Michelin star chef Paco Roncero. A selective list of UK journalists was invited by LOTUS securing titles such as Conde Nast Traveller, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Vogue UK, Harper’s Bazaar.
Two pre-launch individual press trips with The Times and The Sunday Times were arranged with coverage published on the opening weekend.
For the opening weekend, LOTUS secured and hosted key media for a group press trip, including The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Sun and MTV, in collaboration with British Airways.
During the launch trip, Lotus set up an exclusive interview with MTV and headline act Nile Rodgers for a piece that was broadcast the following week.
In a twelve month period LOTUS generated in excess of 250 pieces of coverage.
The direct AVE of just the print coverage in the UK was in excess of £1,500,000 with a circulation exceeding 10,000,000.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Bringing Alaska seafood to the streets of London
To drive awareness in the UK market about seafood from Alaska, its health benefits, purity and ease of cooking and create a buzz around Alaska seafood, targeting the key markets of families and young professionals.
Capitalising on the trend for pop ups and food festivals Lotus set up an Alaska seafood pop up restaurant in London. The central London venue was themed as a Gold Rush camp and had two parts;
Daytime event – LOTUS created a themed day long festival targeted at families with seafood tastings, interactive cooking demonstrations, live music, entertainment and games for children. The ASMI branding and messaging was prominent but organic and the audience had the opportunity to sample Alaskan seafood and ‘cook at home’ recipes. The event was supported by ASMI’s commercial partners to give a call to action for customers.
Evening event – in the evening the atmosphere and dynamic of the festival changed and the event was targeted at young professionals with high disposal incomes who enjoy healthy eating, cooking and gastronomy as part of a lifestyle choice. This was a ticketed event where PR and a social media campaign had driven ticket sales. The event was hosted by popular Chefs who served up an Alaska seafood banquet under the stars.
At both events all guests were given ASMI information, merchandise and samples.
The event created a buzz in the media world, with pre and post event coverage in all major titles. The value of media coverage alone topped £200,000. The event attracted 400 guests to the day event and 100 to the evening.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Highlighting Alaska seafood by partnering Young’s
To drive awareness in the UK market about seafood from Alaska and to support Young’s new product line ‘Lightly Coated’ using Alaska pollock.
The product launch of ‘Lightly Coated’ was supported by a Young’s funded TV advertising campaign and point of sale activity in leading retail outlets.
LOTUS created a partnership between ASMI and Young’s to up-weight the marketing activity and negotiated the inclusion of the ASMI logo on the ‘Lightly Coated’ packaging. This was then distributed in all major UK retail and food outlets and supermarkets securing high visibility retail presence for Alaska pollock.
Additionally, LOTUS devised a joint print marketing campaign for ASMI with Young’s in the main women’s consumer titles and national press. The press activity consisted of advertorial that focused on the provenance of the pollock in the ‘Lightly Coated’ range.
Lightly Coated retail sales were over £2.5million in the first twelve weeks post launch with the ASMI brand prominent on all packaging.
Using Guernsey’s unique heritage to generate broadcast and print exposure in line with a historic anniversary
On the 70th anniversary of the Channel Islands’ liberation from the occupying German forces during WWII. This was a significant anniversary for the Channel Islands as they were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied. The history left behind by this is still visible on the island. LOTUS was briefed to raise the profile of Guernsey as a historically important destination and generate bookings ahead of an inaugural five week Heritage Festival designed to raise awareness of this anniversary.
LOTUS devised an editorial radio and TV campaign with veterans of the occupation sharing their memories as a way of highlighting the festival and bringing this unique history to life. This ensured the Channel Islands was top of the broadcast news agenda in the lead up to and around VE Day. LOTUS also held a dedicated group press trip prior to the festival hosting The Telegraph, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Mail, Mail Online, The Sun, Discover Britain and Coast.
Coverage on 127 radio stations from national BBC stations to major regional radio stations.
TV coverage on BBC London Live as part of the live coverage on the celebrations around VE Day, as well as on Newsround (BBC) and Countryfile (BBC).
Reach of over 30 million in coverage.
PR value of over £2.1 million in coverage in a sixteen week period.
Liguria, raising destination awareness direct to consumer and gaining high visibility on a small budget
LOTUS was tasked with maximising a limited budget to raise the profile of the lesser known Italian region of Liguria to UK holidaymakers.
Key objectives were to increase UK visitor numbers and awareness, encourage visitation to areas of Liguria outside of the iconic Cinque Terre region, position Genoa as an alternative city break destination and highlight the strength of Liguria’s gastronomy.
Due budget restrictions traditional channels such as advertising were prohibitive.
Instead LOTUS suggested, masterminded and oversaw the creation of Liguria’s first dedicated guidebook for the UK market.
Working with well respected travel guide book publisher Bradt Travel Guides Lotus secured Ligurian aficionado Rosie Whitehouse to write the book. Liguria facilitated the author’s research and LOTUS worked with Liguria to ensure third party commercial support from the Liguria trade partners to offset the costs of the creation of the book.
The launch of the guide was supported by a UK media and industry function where Rosie Whitehouse addressed attending press and trade partners.
The creation of the Bradt Liguria guide was supported by a programme of press trips and press activity to capitalise on the launch of the guide and extend the budget further.
Partnering with tour operators on group press trips to reduce hosting costs, including a co-op trip with Great Rail Journeys showcasing the region’s proximity via the European rail network has helped to highlight Liguria’s divert and unique appeal.
A series of individual trips with high profile media from mainstream national titles to niche publications in the gastronomy and outdoor sectors was also rolled out. National media hosted in the past year include The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Sun, The Scottish Sun and The Daily Mirror.
The first edition of the guidebook was considered a success and it is now in its second edition with planning for a third edition in place.
The guide book enabled Liguria to gain retail and high street presence for the region alongside more well-known Italian regions such as Tuscany and enabled Liguria to ‘punch above its weight’ form a budgetary perspective.
Heathrow Express & Chengdu
Combining Heathrow Express and Chengdu to promote awareness and business and leisure visitor numbers business to Chengdu
The strategy was to create an experiential concept which would encompass three target audiences and highlight the key messages of Chengdu being open for business, the 72 hour visa and cultural highlights of the city.
LOTUS created a campaign called Chengdu 72 which would include three high profile events running over 72 hours in central London.
Held at the Sackler Gallery in Hyde Park, the venue was designed by Dame Zaha Hadid who designed the New Century City Art Centre in Chengdu.
LOTUS created a VIP showcase of Chengdu culture including art, performance, fashion and gastronomy to an audience of industry representatives, media and VIP’s.
LOTUS oversaw a high profile guest list which saw the Chinese Ambassador in London welcome a series of speakers including Willie Walsh CEO of IAG, and Lord Thurso Chair of the China Britain Business Council.
Owned by Heathrow Airport Ltd, Heathrow Express carries 17,000 business and leisure travellers a day.
For 72 hours LOTUS converted the train to the Chengdu72 Express.
The redecorated train included vast window vinyl’s of Pandas in traditional Chengdu costumes, the first time the carriages have been rebranded in the train’s history
A Chengdu72 Tea House opened in London’s Covent Garden.
During a 72 hour period, visitors could experience local food and drink and experience a number of cultural shows including Chinese opera, Face Changing Dancers and sample tea made during a traditional tea ceremony. This was underpinned by a social campaign offering the chance to win holidays to Chengdu.
For the launch, LOTUS had a target to secure 150 political and industry leaders. The quality of guests and speakers were a key component of success for the Chinese client.
Political representation included members of the House of Lords and Houses of Parliament, representatives from the Prime Minister’s, Deputy Prime Minister’s and Mayor of London’s office. Business leaders from targeted sectors of industry attended including:
Building/Manufacturing/Fashion/Travel and Tourism
Authenticity and attention to detail was key. LOTUS sourced a London based, Chengdu born chef who contrasted British and Chengdu interpretations of Chinese cuisine. A fashion show demonstrated designs from a London College of Fashion designer born and bred in Chengdu who created bespoke designs using Sichuan Silk, a speciality of Chengdu.
Social traction and media coverage was achieved from both the Heathrow Express re-brand and Chengdu72 pop up tea house.
LATAM Airlines Group
Introduce LATAM Airlines Group’s new commercial director for the UK & Northern Europe, Martin Modarelli, to the UK market.
LOTUS cemented Modarelli’s profile within the industry via regular interviews at key trade shows, such as the Business Travel Show and World Travel Market, as well as a dedicated media and stakeholders event in which Modarelli presented the business and gave commentary on trends and happenings in both the Latin American travel landscape and the business travel arena. Modarelli is now a well-respected and recognised presence and go-to spokesperson for media looking for comment on air travel issues, Latin America and business travel to the region.
LOTUS has been trained on LATAM’s international crisis processes in order to follow official protocol and offers 24 hour availability in case of an incident. The agency drafts and translates reactive statements quickly and efficiently for smaller incidents and undertakes regular full scale crisis simulations, in case of a larger emergency.
In a year, LOTUS has generated a total of 583 pieces of coverage in the UK market with a total reach of 305,601,041and an AVE of £4,533,667.
Andorra Goes to Keswick Mountain Festival
LOTUS was challenged with positioning Andorra as a summer activity destination offering a viable alternative to more well-known Alpine destinations and growing visitor numbers through the traditional quiet summer months. The volume of tourists visit in winter where the principality is known for its value for money ski offering.
As part of an ongoing comprehensive trade and PR strategy LOTUS took Visit Andorra to the Lake District as a sponsor and exhibitor at the Keswick Mountain Festival.
Billed as the ultimate outdoors weekend, Keswick Mountain Festival is a four day event with a packed programme of outdoor activities, world-class speakers, sporting events and live music, all set in and around the beautiful Crow Park and overlooking Derwentwater. Over 16,000 “adventurers” attended the festival, all looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors and take part in activities and sporting events regardless of their age and abilities. From extreme tree climbing for kids taking their first steps into adventure, to the ultra-trail marathon for seasoned athletes, the festival attracts exactly the same people that would enjoy a summer trip to Andorra – whether to take part in its famed triathlon, hike its epic mountain trails or have a go at via ferrata, climbing, or canyoning.
Visit Andorra joined other outdoor and adventure brands who had strong customer loyalty, brand presence and a similar audience, such as Hi-Tec, Berghaus and Exodus. Andorra used its space in the Festival Village with a branded tent, deckchairs and plenty of information and merchandise (including ponchos and caps to cover all weather possibilities) plus interactive activities for families to try out.
LOTUS also negotiated Visit Andorra sponsorship of the Friday night ‘Sporting Heroes’ speaker sessions comprising branding around the theatre, promotional videos shown at the beginning and end of the sessions, distribution of merchandise to ticket holders, and inclusion in all communication on the ‘Sporting Heroes’ speaker sessions. This enabled promotion of Andorra as a world-class sporting destination, specifically its annual sports competitions such as the Andorra Ultra Trail, to a very targeted audience of active sportsmen and women, and keen sports spectators.
Clear synergies between the objectives for Visit Andorra and the messages communicated by Keswick Mountain Festival mean that the festival has been included as the key consumer event on the LOTUS Visit Andorra activity plan for the last two years. The level of engagement is phenomenal, with a good majority of festival-goers stating that they had either already considered a summer holiday to Andorra or other European mountain destination, or will now consider a summer trip to Andorra based on presence at the festival, while there was also ample opportunity to convert winter visitors into summer adventurers. There were significant visitor spikes on the Visit Andorra website post festival and tour operator partners reported increased brochure requests and increased visitor numbers to their respective sites.
In addition to this LOTUS founded relationships with other brands present at Keswick enabling Andorra to target its databases and run online and retail promotions in conjunction with well respected, highly visible brands.