CAMPAIGN: Good Relations unveils XSMG Marine superboat

XSMG Marine is a small British company with a vision to create the world's first true superboat - something with luxury yacht styling and the DNA of a supercar. In December 2006, it started to build 100 exclusive XSR48 superboats (numbered 001 to 100) with a price tag of £1m each.

Campaign: XSR48 – The Launch of the ‘World’s First Superboat’
Client: XSMG Marine
PR Team: Good Relations
Timescale: December 2006 – March 2007
Budget: £25,000

To launch and promote the XSR48 as the world’s first deluxe superboat. To promote XSMG Marine as a new luxury brand for high net-worth individuals. To partner with other luxury brands.
The target audience for the XSR48 launch campaign was small – a few thousand ultra-high net-worth indivi­duals across the world. Good Relations was tasked with convincing them they just ‘had’ to have an XSR48 – the ‘Bugatti Veyron of the sea’.

The strategy was to generate a national media splash creating awareness and envy, then to follow it up with targeted and detailed review coverage in media read by the very rich.

Timing was a real issue. Owing to partnership commitments (and the ­attendance of Prince Michael of Kent), a definite launch date had to be set for 14 December at XSMG Marine’s head­quarters at Lymington on the Solent.

However, Good Relations could not be 100 per cent sure that the newly ­designed boat would be ready on the day, so it ­offered the story exclusively to one ­local news agency.

If the boat performed well, they would have some fantastic pictures to sell into the nationals. If the boat didn’t perform well, the photo agency would have had little motivation to sell the story in and negative coverage would be unlikely.

At 9am on launch day, the boat had still not entered the water. But by 10am the XSR48 had completed its first test run. The local news agency distributed the pictures and Good Relations followed up with key nationals to sell in interviews with chief executive Ian Sanderson.

Follow-up angles talking about the business story were developed for ­specific media including The Sunday Times business section.

The story attracted national coverage across the nationals including The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Times, The Sun, Daily Express, Daily Star, The Business, Daily Record and The Scotsman.

Jeremy Clarkson featured the boat in his Sun column, describing it as ‘…the most beautiful thing ever created by man’, and rammed the point home by saying, ‘I want one so badly it hurts.’

UK audience reach is more than nine million to date and all articles were posi­tive. International coverage has appeared in more than 20 titles including FHM Germany and Arabian Knight.

Follow-up coverage in luxury publications including Lusso, FT How to Spend IT, Billionaire 500, Luxury 888, and Luxury Magazine (Russia) has already been secured.

The campaign delivered on all objectives, creating high-volume, high-­profile coverage, helping to achieve customer sea trials and generating calls from potential partner brands. XSMG Marine has received firm orders for more than ten boats, and coverage directly generated five calls to discuss partnerships from other luxury brands.

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