Royal Wedding Special: Camp Royale takes common approach

After it was predicted that one million people would visit London for Prince William and kate Middleton's wedding, Eleven Events decided to create an event to give tourists an alternative to the inflated 'Kate-rate' at many London hotels. The big royal wedding sleepover, name Camp Royale, was arranged to run from Thursday to Sunday morning and was set up on Clapham Common.

Camp Royale: Wedding fever
Camp Royale: Wedding fever

Campaign: Camp Royale: London's big royal wedding sleepover and garden
party
Client: Eleven Events
PR team: LDR London
Timescale: March-May 2011
Budget: £6,000

Objectives

- To build rapid national and international awareness of Camp Royale

- To build a first-class business case for Eleven Events to secure larger commercial projects with corporate sponsorship in the future.

Strategy

The PR team introduced Camp Royale as a cheaper alternative to expensive hotels and organised an initial photocall. Images were sent to national, regional and international picture desks. LDR also teamed up with luxury tent company Camp Kerala-Mademoiselle to offer and promote 'glamping' at the festival.

The team positioned the event as an entertainment experience, not just a campsite.

A key part of the event was a garden party that ran on Friday and Saturday of the sleepover. This was an entertainment area open to campers, local residents and day trippers. Entry was free and there was a giant screen showcasing the royal wedding live. LDR secured nine brand partners for the event including Pimm's and Pizza Express. Live acts included a funfair, caricaturist and a DJ.

Weekly media updates - named Camp Royale Court Circulars - helped to build the story and campaign momentum.

Creative media hooks were developed to give the story longevity, depth and talking points. These included promoting the launch of 'glamping' facilities, brand partnerships and entertainment features.

National and international broadcast channels such as BBC1, Reuters and ZDF German Television were approached to secure interviews.

A media centre was erected onsite to accommodate the 72 national and inter-national press that wanted to capture the atmosphere of Camp Royale. The PR team also had to deal with Lambeth Council and local residents, who were concerned about the impact of the 'Glastonbury-style event' on the area.

Measurement and evaluation

The campaign generated more than 400 pieces of coverage, including BBC, Reuters, Sky News, German Press Association, ABC and France 24. The event trended on Twitter, after the Japan earthquake. The campaign led a local MP to raise a question in the House of Commons about Camp Royale and sparked international debate from Columbia to Australia, which contributed to raising the brand's profile.

Results

The final footfall at the garden party was 3,125 people and 289 tickets were sold for the camping site.

Second Opinion: Nadia Gabbie, MD, Slice Communications

Entrepreneurism and PR are very close bedfellows. Both require positivity, a can-do spirit, passion, commitment and above all, the ability to conceive and the zeal to deliver a great idea. In this campaign, both client and agency showed this in abundance.

The creation of Camp Royale was a great and fun idea that really tapped into the buzz and excitement around the royal wedding.

But it also managed to stand out by creating its own hype. Part of this was down to the commitment and stamina to keep building the campaign from launch, and the determination to get partners on board for the final party.

The media results seemed impressive for such a small event. But there is a nagging question about the overall commercial effectiveness of the campaign and event, given the ticket sales.

The numbers in sales terms were pretty small in comparison to the overall reach of the PR campaign. Otherwise, it was great fun and a fantastic tactical campaign for a smaller client. Princely fun on a pauper's budget.

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