CAMPAIGNS: Event PR - Sneak a peek at a naked wedding

Client: SuperClubs Resorts' Hedonism III (Runaway Bay, Jamaica)



PR Team: Spring, O'Brien & Co. (New York)



Campaign: World's Largest Nude Wedding



Time Frame: April 2000 - February 2001



Budget: dollars 50,000



Soon-to-be-married couples often wear their hearts on their sleeves.



Of course if the bride and groom are standing at the altar wearing

nothing more than wedding-day smiles, such antiquated notions of

sentimentality tend to go by the wayside.



SuperClubs Resorts had previously conducted two wacky weddings with the

help of New York-based Spring, O'Brien & Co., but it needed a new stunt

to generate excitement among its target audience of single men and women

under 45 with full-time jobs. The nude tourism boom - identified by a

Forbes survey as the fastest-growing segment of the tourism industry -

provided the solution, inspiring the resort to conduct the world's

largest nude wedding on Valentine's Day.



Strategy



Spring, O'Brien faced a dual mission: appeal to SuperClubs' target

audience, while playing up the libido-fueled reputation of its Hedonism

III resort. One of the two previous wacky weddings was held atop a

25-foot, three-tiered sandcastle wedding cake. The other was a 'trapeze

wedding,' in which the bride and groom met in midair. 'The idea was to

top our past stunts,' says Zein Nakash, SuperClubs VP of marketing.



The nude wedding concept was an immediate hit with the client, but was

met with some skepticism when the agency ran the idea by a handful of

its broadcast media contacts. 'There were some concerns about whether it

was in good taste,' concedes agency president Chris Spring. Not

surprisingly, the contacts questioned whether they would be able to get

any usable (i.e., family-friendly) footage.



Tactics



To combat these concerns, Spring, O'Brien developed a 'nude is not lewd'

pitch. Armed with research about nude tourism, the agency produced a

media kit that chronicled the history of nudity, as well as nude

recreation trends. The kit went out to travel and tourism publications,

as well as to more staid outlets, such as traditional bridal

magazines.



'I think this legitimized us,' Nakash says.



On September 22, 2000, a press released headlined 'I Do Nude' was sent

to hundreds of media outlets, and volunteers began to reveal themselves,

so to speak. Eventually, 10 couples signed up. The agency seized the

opportunity to garner coverage, contacting the San Antonio Express News,

which followed the pre-wedding jiggles ... er, jitters ... of one local

couple.



As Valentine's Day drew near, the agency shot suitable-for-broadcast

b-roll footage of a wedding 'dress' rehearsal. Digital photos of the

rehearsal were sent to print and online media outlets, which were

offered interviews with the participants and SuperClubs executives.



Results



The media overcame its initial reluctance and embraced the nude wedding

concept. Knight-Ridder picked up the story, and SuperClubs soon found

itself on the front cover of USA Today.



In the days leading up to the wedding, AP circulated a lengthy feature

about the nude recreation trend, while photos taken at the dress

rehearsal were featured on CNN.com. The b-roll aired in more than 90 US

markets, including New York and Los Angeles, and gained exposure on

ABC's World News Tonight and CNBC's Business Early Edition.



SuperClubs also got an unexpected boost from an unlikely source: the

Jamaican minister of tourism issued a statement noting that the

government did not endorse the nude wedding. 'It created a

'defiance-of-government' atmosphere,' Nakash jokes. She admits to only

one regret: 'We should have had the steel drum band play 'One Love' by

Bob Marley.'



Future



SuperClubs and Spring, O'Brien are awaiting word on whether the nude

wedding will make it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Even if it

doesn't, Nakash hopes the success of the stunt will spur the agency to

raise the bar even higher for the next wacky wedding.



Spring, O'Brien is also conducting a survey on reaction to the stunt.



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