Over the last few years the BIA Melbourne Boat Show had suffered from a lack of new ‘news’, leading to many feeling like there was no compelling reason to come to the show as they had seen it all before. Additionally, many exhibitors had been struggling with lower sales at the show since the GFC.
We decided to shift the advertising focus from lifestyle (selling the dream) to retail (selling boats). In short, we planned to establish the BIA Melbourne Boat Show as the best place to buy a boat – giving people a reason to attend and targeting the audience our exhibitors needed most.
With a limited budget the next challenge was to deliver this message in a way that would cut through and provide additional PR and social media opportunities to help spread the message. To achieve this we decided to playfully leverage B-grade celebrities to push the boat show’s A-grade deals. Making this a reality, we enlisted the help of Warwick Capper and Brynne Edelsten, two larger than life personalities that attract attention wherever they go.
The beauty of this campaign was that it allowed us to convey all the information about the boat show and deals in an almost traditional retail style – only with the added attention, entertainment and fun coming from the person that’s doing the spruiking.
The campaign was a great success, not only capturing attention in its own right, but also offering many additional social media and PR opportunities with Warwick and Brynne popping up everywhere in the press as well as doing radio interviews and TV appearances to promote the show.
Overall, attendance at this year’s show was up 5%, but most importantly it was the type of attendee we attracted that resulted in one of the best shows in recent history, with many exhibitors reporting record-breaking sales. Now that’s an A-grade result!
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