The GORE-TEX® Arctic Challenge was a world first on-water adventure which saw a crew of eight travel some 1,000 miles from Scotland to the Arctic Circle on two tiny RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats) over six days (June 28 - July 3, 2011).
Ribs to the Limit briefed CG to create an engagement strategy to:
- Create awareness and increase understanding of the capability, flexibility and enjoyment of Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs)
- Inspire people to get outside and on the water
- Deliver a real return on sponsorsʼ investments and make the challenge a visible success.
Working closely with the organisers CG created a promotion that brought the benefits of RIBs to life in an industry first. CG planned an integrated communications strategy to give maximum ROI, utilising a mix of traditional and cutting-edge communication tools in a targeted, experiential way.
CG made up for the tight budgets and tough conditions by using some clever planning to deliver exciting, varied and live content that people could follow and interact with. CG mixed videos, photos, text and blog commenting to create a complete view of the adventure and extended the reach by inviting a national journalist and blogger to take part and offered content to external groups/ channels. Creative Director Ed Gould also took part to ensure smooth running of the campaign.
Strategy, Tactics and Outputs
Direct Marketing and Design
CG launched the challenge at the world's only boat show dedicated solely to RIBs, RIBEX, and carried out further direct marketing using printed design at RIBEX and Seawork exhibitions.
To ensure a wider reach and promote RIBs to a new, national consumer audience CG researched key journalists who were ‘game for a challenge’. Telegraph columnist Bryony Gordon was approached and secured to take part and write a feature, regular blogs and tweets en route.
The hub of the strategy was a social web site. The development team used new blog technology and tied in all social sites to streamline the campaign and collect the a various content and update together in one place.
CG’s development team built the world’s first tool to allow users to track exactly where the boats were using GPS beacons and position tweets made there, ‘GPSocialʼ matched Twitter updates to global positions on a live tracking map. This meant even when there was no mobile signal the site was updated using GPS technologies.
CG targeted people discussing RIBs, adventure, challenges, the Arctic Circle and other key words and set up content on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube - always linking back to the official site. CG pushed content through these channels and other people’s groups to ensure wider reach, and interacted with people who commented.
CG targeted key bloggers on the subject of RIBs and supplied them with content for their sites. CG used social media as a way of feeding journalists with information and content, providing them with details of how to embed content on their channels.
CG conducted research and found the crew was the first ever to take on a challenge of this kind. This was used to strengthen the launch press releases and others that followed. CG targeted media of all types, from RIB specialist and sailing press to consumer publications. They were fed with updates and led to the challenge blog. CG ran regional PR campaigns in the areas of each crew member to widen reach.
CG filmed the challenge so video content, bringing people closer to the action, could be used on multiple channels. The content is being made into a documentary to create a legacy and ensure the challenge continues to deliver ROI.
Bringing it to life
CG’s Ed Gould, an experienced photographer, blogger and communications expert, ensured top quality photography and content for the media, online channels and sponsors.
A far-reaching integrated campaign that achieved all objectives because CG:
- Created an interesting and compelling subject
- Offered users multiple ways to find about about and share it
- Promoted RIBs and their capabilities to a wider and more diverse audience by generating a mass of coverage both on and offline plus in national and trade press
- Left a legacy for Ribs to the Limit and sponsors
- Feedback shows CG inspired people to get off their seats and onto the water
- Communicated to the public the fun of the sport
Results in numbers over three months:
- 21 print stories
- 65 online stories
- 36 minutes radio airplay
- 12 minutes TV airtime
- 2,616 upload views on YouTube
- 31,000 unique views on Flickr
- 6,720 monthly active users over June/July 2011 and 96 likes on Facebook
- 170 followers on Twitter, averaging 100 people clicking through challenge website or associated social media channels daily during challenge.
Total social/digital/viral reach: over 2 million and growing
Total coverage: Over £150,000 EEV
Total PR reach: Over 19 Million