ENTERTAINMENT CAMPAIGN: 27 Dresses is a romantic hit at the box office

After Aline Brosh McKenna penned The Devil Wears Prada, she produced a screenplay for 27 Dresses - a tale of a girl with 27 bridesmaids dresses in her wardrobe preparing to watch her sister marry the man she secretly loves.

Katherine Heigl
Katherine Heigl

Campaign: 27 Dresses
Client: Twentieth Century Fox Films
PR team: DSA PR
Timescale: January to March 2008
Budget: £22,000

When Twentieth Century Fox Films hatched plans to release the 'frock fabulous' movie starring Knocked Up's Katherine Heigl, it hired DSA PR to create heightened awareness for the film in the cluttered romantic comedy theatrical marketplace.

OBJECTIVES
To create excitement among 16- to 34-year-old women. To position 27 Dresses across mainstream media as a 'fun, warm-hearted, contemporary romantic comedy'. To drive ticket sales to the pre-set target of £1.4m during the first week of release.

STRATEGY AND PLAN
To engage the target audience's appetite for celebrity glamour and gossip, DSA PR created '27 Dresses - Celebrity Dress Auction' in partnership with eBay to raise funds for The Lavender Trust - a charity supporting young women with breast cancer. It was the first time eBay UK created a bespoke URL: www.ebay.co.uk/27dresses

An array of female celebrities from film, music and TV were approached and asked to donate their 'red carpet' dress, ideally designer, for the auction along with an image of themselves wearing the dress for authenticity.

After collecting 27 dresses from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Kylie Minogue, Heidi Klum, Thandie Newton, Naomi Campbell, Girls Aloud and Paris Hilton, the team hosted a media launch event at London venue Sketch, with a catwalk show showcasing the dresses followed by a gala screening of the film itself.

The eBay auction site went live on the same evening of 4 March and bidding commenced with Kylie Minogue's dress. A new celebrity dress was then added to the site every day.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
The campaign gained 207 pieces of national and regional print, broadcast and online coverage with an AVE of £11.4m.

RESULTS
More than £14,000 was raised from the online charity auction and the film made £1.4m revenue on its opening weekend. It eventually generated £1.7m, exceeding the UK target by 23 per cent.

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