Campaign: BGB alerts winter sport lovers to pop-up map - Travel PR

Campaign: 3D Map Launch

Client: MountMaps

PR team: BGB Communications

Timescale: August 2004-January 2005

Budget: £17,500

Fans of winter sports will know the frustration of standing on a windy piste while trying to decipher a soggy resort map. To help solve this problem, MountMaps created a 3D pop-up ski map, made of recyclable plastic and possible to fold to wallet size. With only one map in production, covering Les Trois Vallees in France, MountMaps hired BGB Communications to help develop this market.

Objectives

To launch the map as an essential accessory for the 2004/05 winter holiday season and push sales, while creating longevity. To generate media endorsement and demonstrate the map's potential to other ski resorts.

To stir up interest among ski resort map retailers.

Strategy and Plan

BGB's campaign started at the Daily Mail Ski and Snowboard Show last October. Press releases and product samples were then sent to travel, consumer and trade media, flagging up the map's availability for purchase from MountMaps' online shop.

Other tactics included highlighting the map as a must-have gadget in men's media and organising competitions to win maps with the Times Educational Supplement and Virgin.net.

This activity was matched by liaison with travel operators to sell the maps directly to holidaymakers.

Measurement and Evaluation

According to in-house evaluation, the campaign has achieved more than 40 pieces of coverage to date, including ten product reviews in titles such as the Evening Standard, The Independent and The Observer.

The maps gained coverage in all the major ski magazines, including Ski & Board, while featuring on the gadget pages of the Daily Star, Esquire, Men's Fitness and GQ. The products have also been featured as essential style accessories in titles such as Harpers & Queen and The Sunday Times Style supplement.

Results

More than 20 holiday firms, including TUI, sell the maps in resorts.

Sales figures are not yet available, but MountMaps reports that 'tens of thousands' of maps have been distributed and that sales for 2006 are expected to top £1m.

The firm is currently in discussions with resorts to launch more maps and is considering branching out into walking holidays.

Gemma Bowes, who wrote a news story about the maps for The Observer's travel section Escape, says the campaign was 'very effective'. She adds: 'BGB created a buzz around the product before I had even seen it and I got a comment from MountMaps director Stephen Brittain explaining the aim of the maps.'

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