Campaign: Amphibian bike makes a great media splash

The PR Office has been recruited by Gibbs Technology to launch its latest product - the Quadski. Read on...

Campaign Quadski launch
Client Gibbs Technology
PR team The PR Office
Timescale June-July 2006
Budget £25,000

Midlands-based Gibbs Tech­nologies is a specialist builder of products using ‘high-speed amphibian' technology. One of its products, an amphibious car called ‘the Aquada', holds the world record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel.

The manufacturer is also behind ‘the Humdinga', a four-wheel drive vehicle capable of travelling on both water and land.

To launch its latest product, the Quadski - a cross between a quad bike and a jet-ski - Gibbs recruited The PR Office to build greater brand awareness and grab the attention of potential clients such as the defence industry, general consumers and car prototype manufacturers.

To build media interest in the Quadski with the aim of attracting the attention of potential clients - national and international - to licence Gibbs's high-speed amphibian technology. To position the manufacturer as an expert in amphibious vehicles.

Strategy and Plan
It was decided that promoting the Quadski through stands and events at the large motor and boat shows would not be cost-effective.

The PR Office thus attempted to generate media and consumer buzz around the vehicle through a press pack, targeting mainstream national and international media as well as specialist consumer technology publications.

The pack contained photos and a video news reel of the Quadski in action, and details of how the technology works and the opportunity to interview senior Gibbs staff.

Measurement and Evaluation
The Quadski was covered in national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph and Daily Star, as well as specialist consumer titles such as BBC Top Gear Magazine, gadget title Stuff and lads' mag Nuts.

The Daily Telegraph's feature article on the Quadski, headlined ‘Get ready for take-off by land or sea', was typical of coverage.

The PR activity also generated interest abroad, such as in Japan, the US (via The New York Times) and in the Middle East (via Al Jazeera). Promotion of the product was also successful in the Midlands - where the PR team wanted to raise Gibbs's local profile - including coverage in regional newspapers such as The Nuneaton Tribune.

According to The PR Office, visitors to the company's website after the launch of the Quadski increased from an average of 700 hits a day to circa 10,000. Since the campaign, the company has reported that around six manufacturers - from Germany, the US and Japan - are now in talks with Gibbs about licensing its technology.

Stuff staff writer Andy Madden says: ‘We only cover this type of prototype story if the product looks cool. If it looks like a bucket it's not going to get in. The Quadski fitted our bill and the PR team provided plenty of good visuals.'

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