CAMPAIGNS: Event PR - Bikinis come out for winter contest

Client: Allegro Resorts (Miami)

Client: Allegro Resorts (Miami)

Client: Allegro Resorts (Miami)

PR Team: JGR & Associates (Miami)

Campaign: Fly for Free in Your Bathing Suit

Time Frame: January 24 to February 5, 2000

Budget: About dollars 100,000

Only someone from a hot climate could think of this.

When her Miami firm, JGR & Associates, became the agency for Allegro

Resorts, account manager Darcy Brito had about 10 days to prepare a

kickoff promotion for her client’s property in Turks and Caicos, the

eight-island Caribbean chain. Her objective: to draw attention to the

resort by holding a media event at Kennedy Airport on the day of the

first non-stop flight from New York to Providenciales, the island on

which the 300-room resort is located.


Brito decided to invite the public to JFK to enter a contest for a free

cruise. Ten couples would be chosen in a random drawing to fly out that

day. Winners would receive free airfare and a vacation valued at dollars


But there was a twist. ’With the temperature at 30 degrees at JFK and

snow on the ground, what better thing to do than have (contestants) show

up in their bathing suits?’ Brito says.

The client loved the idea, but Brito had three obstacles to


First, Allegro’s target demographic - affluent executives - is hard to

reach. Plus, the resort wanted to reach Spanish-speakers because of the

large Latino population in New York.

Second, how to entice contestants? Registration was at 10 am. ’Imagine

getting people out of bed on a Saturday in below freezing weather to go

to the airport in their bathing suits!’ Brito points out.

Third, the New York media market is chock-full of competing stories each

day. Even on a Saturday, a major story could blow the swimsuit promo off

a broadcast.


Brito overcame the problem of enticing people into the contest by

blitzing the market. She met her demographic challenges by contacting

outlets in both English and Spanish and emphasizing the exclusiveness of

the all-inclusive resort. ’’It’s the Caribbean’s best-kept secret’ has

now become the slogan,’ she says.

JGR partnered with an English-language general market radio station, two

Latin radio stations and a Latin music Web site,, to tout

the contest.

A week before the event, Brito posted a press release on Business Wire

and the Associated Press date book.

She also sent a pitch letter announcing the promotion and what it

entailed to all metropolitan radio and television stations and daily

newspapers, along with 11 college radio stations. Brito was so

persistent with follow-up telephone calls that during her final reminder

’the media said, ’yeah, we know’ before I could get two words out,’ she


On February 5, the day of the event, she sent a photo release to 650 top

dailies in key markets across the country.

As for story competition, Brito had DS Simon Productions, New York,

shoot a b-roll of the contest, so stations short of crews would have


The 4-1/2-minute video package captured a line of contestants at a JFK

ticket counter with snow banks piled up outside. Then, the winners were

chosen. The b-roll was sent out via satellite later that day.


Most of the 30 people who registered were young professionals, as

Allegro wanted. Half heard about the contest from the radio, half from

the Internet.

There were 50 print news clips, including The New York Times, which ran

a photograph in its Metro section.

JGR’s radio partners covered the contest live.

There were 367 TV hits nationwide, and 238 stations picked up the

b-roll. All the major TV networks ran a piece, but most New York-area

film crews were called away to a big fire in Queens and therefore relied

on the b-roll.

The Internet delivered big, resulting in stories on Yahoo!; Bloomberg,

an aviation publication, Avweb Newswire - and about 100 more Web



Allegro was ’extremely happy,’ says Brito. ’It definitely raised the bar

in terms of events I will be organizing.’

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