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.
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.
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
'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
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.
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
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.