Consumer - Chillisauce woos hacks to sample activitydays

Campaign: Raising profile of Chillisauce Client: Chillisauce PR team: Radiator PR Timescale: November 2004-April 2005 Budget: Undisclosed

Chillisauce is an internet-based firm specialising in unique activities including 'blindfold driving', paintball and zorbing (rolling down hills in a giant inflatable PVC ball). It provides these activities for hen and stag parties, as well as corporate gatherings.

Since its launch in 1999, the company has grown by word of mouth, but last year it drafted in Radiator PR to raise its profile among 18 to 45-year-old males and blue-chip companies.

Objectives

To differentiate the Chillisauce brand and generate increased enquiries through media coverage.

Strategy and Plan

To attract lifestyle media, Radiator individually approached publications to invite them to experience a Chillisauce day. To avoid duplication, journalists from each magazine received invites to different activities.

Consumer tactics included promotional partnerships with third parties such as Brylcreem, including competitions in the regional press to win hair products and Chillisauce activity days. There was also an online tie-in around the video and DVD release of The Bourne Supremacy.

To attract corporate interest, Radiator focused on the business sections of national newspapers, targeting human resource writers with case studies about improving staff morale through team-building days. Trade press, which were largely unaware of Chillisauce, received information highlighting the company's business performance.

Meanwhile, Chillisauce directors discussed the firm's offering in interviews, particularly highlighting the recent expansion into eastern Europe.

Measurement and Evaluation

The campaign achieved widespread consumer coverage in Boys Toys, Stag & Groom, Penthouse, MaxPower, Men's Health and Front magazines.

Online, The Bourne Supremacy promotion, offering free DVDs, players and Chillisauce activity days, featured on The Sun Online, Mirror.co.uk and Tiscali.co.uk.

Several broadsheets wrote about the company, including The Times' T2, which ran a piece on stuntman training and 'how to set fire to your boss'.

The Guardian's G2 ran a three-page feature on 4x4 GPS driving, while travel trade media, including Travel Weekly and Travel Trade Gazette, published interviews with Chillisauce marketing director William Bicknell.

Results

Booking figures are unavailable, but according to Bicknell there was a correlation between the timing and types of activities featured by publications and the nature and number of consumer and corporate enquiries received.

Jon Richards, who underwent stuntman training for a two-page piece in Boys Toys, highlights that adventure days do not always live up to the PR hype. But he adds: 'I could not fault Radiator in this instance.

'The Chillisauce day was exactly as described and quite hardcore. Radiator also sent a representative along to hold my hand, and provided me with maps, telephone numbers and other essential details.'

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