Campaign: Tropicana Tropics Salsa World Championships
PR team: Nexus PR
Timescale: July-October 2004
The salsa dance craze has spread across the country and the World Salsa Dance Championships are now in their sixth year. Tropicana Tropics has been the lead sponsor of the competition for the past three years and the event has expanded in size each year. For the 2004 final on 13 October, PepsiCo - Tropicana's parent company - booked the relaunched Cirque venue at the Hippodrome in London's Leicester Square.
To raise the profile of the championships by making them more credible in the eyes of the media. To ensure Tropicana Tropics, an important sub-brand for PepsiCo, is perceived as fun, funky and sexy.
To distribute samples of Tropics Tropical, Tropics Zest and Tropics Passion at the heats and during the final.
Strategy and Plan
To reach as wide an audience as possible the competition was split into three categories: amateur, professional and a formation dance called La Rueda de Casino. The judges and the competitors were sourced from all over the globe for the professional class to give the event the credibility the brand's marketing team wanted.
Nexus PR knew this would be a big story for the regional press as they could focus on the local heats and track the progress of the winners when they headed to London for the final. It organised photoshoots as well as competitions offering salsa kits and Tropicana products as prizes.
Nexus also created and sent flyers and posters to hundreds of salsa dance clubs around the country. A partnership with West End musical Murderous Instincts also generated publicity. Tickets for the show were given away in online competitions and the show's actors attended the salsa championships - some taking part in the professional category.
Nexus organised a VIP area at Cirque where clients, the media and acts such as the Cheeky Girls enjoyed salsa-themed food and Tropicana Tropics-based cocktails. The venue was fully dressed by the agency with banners and special lighting projecting the Tropicana Tropics branding onto walls and across the floor.
Measurement and Evaluation
National press interest for the competition included the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.
The broadcast media were invited to the Hippodrome on the day of the final to see the dancers rehearsing. There was coverage on Richard & Judy where presenter Mike McCleen was taught salsa dancing, while Sky News filmed the final, carried updates throughout the night and interviewed Nexus director Jane Baerselman.
There was local radio coverage of the heats on ILR and BBC stations, with LBC in London broadcasting throughout the day from outside Cirque.
Various websites, including thisislondon.co.uk, carried reports.
The campaign helped increase the attendance for the championships by more than 52 per cent on last year.
During the final, 2,100 people sampled the different varieties of Tropics.
'There was a lot of interest in the local heat, which we covered, but we only did a small follow-up piece on the winners' trip to London as they did not do that well in the final,' says Norwich Evening News education correspondent Hugh Bowring.