Campaigns Showcase: Voting - Brando - The Gatwick Xmas Factor

Campaign: Gatwick Factor
Client: Gatwick Airport
PR team: Brando
Timescale: December 2009
Budget: £126,000

Brando was asked to create a Christmas-themed, fun passenger experience at Gatwick Airport, to engage travellers and generate positive feelings about the airport. The airport had recently been sold by BAA to Global Infrastructure Partners, so it was essential that any marketing activity helped build the airport's profile, create standout and secure as much positive brand awareness as possible.


- To raise Gatwick Airport's profile

- To secure positive brand awareness

- To stand out from the festive stories saturating the media.

Strategy and plan

A 13-foot inflatable snow globe was built with a Christmas tree and karaoke system inside. Passengers were invited into the globe to sing songs to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, and be entered into a competition to win a holiday to Norway to see the Northern Lights. All performances were filmed and uploaded on to a microsite, where the public could vote for their favourite performances. X Factor runners-up Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon were booked to open the event.

Measurement and evaluation

In total 72 pieces of coverage were achieved. Highlights included London Tonight, BBC News, Capital FM, Heart FM, The Sun, Metro and OK.


There were 335 entries and 22,198 people voted online. The campaign also raised £5,765 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

A poll found 86 per cent of passengers said the Gatwick Factor competition made their airport experience more enjoyable.


Mandy Sharp, Managing director, Brando

Gatwick Factor was born when we were asked by our client to create a fun, festive, interactive experience at Gatwick Airport. The activity needed to engage passengers but also deliver blanket coverage.

We really wanted to create a campaign that truly embodied the fun and spirit of Christmas, but was also newsworthy.

Our winning formula brought together all the classic elements of British Christmas time - our love of karaoke and Christmas songs, raising money for a good cause and our obsession with the most popular show on TV during that time - The X Factor.

Gatwick Factor ran over nine days last year in the run up to Christmas and passengers were invited to enter our giant inflatable snow globe and sing their hearts out for charity and the chance to win a holiday. All performances were streamed online and voted for by the public.

The event launched exactly three days after last year's The X Factor final, with show favourites Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon belting out tunes from our snow globe. As anticipated, the media couldn't wait to broadcast, report or blog about the finalists' first 'gig' being at Gatwick Airport.

Like many award-winning campaigns, this project ticked lots of boxes - it was fun, entertaining and relevant, but most of all it was the unexpected and quirky nature of the event that captured hearts and minds. It has been nominated for various awards and recently won a CIPR Gold Award for The Best Event in 2009.

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