Merlin challenged Brazen to make maximum noise in PR challenge
SEA LIFE attractions across the UK closed in line with government guidelines at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown in March. The sites’ marketing team at Merlin challenged Brazen to make maximum noise nationally and regionally once the attractions had the green light to open in July 2020 – reiterating that each aquarium had extensive safety measures in place and driving those all-important visits from families.
What we did
Brazen worked with the SEA LIFE marketing team to craft a reopening news story for national use that covered each of the safety measures sites were adopting to protect staff and visitors. The team also held calls with the manager of each SEA LIFE site to gather some personality-led news stories that could be used to garner hero coverage for specific sites both nationally and regionally.
One story focused on a site’s aquarists naming a rescued seal pup after pandemic hero, Sir Tom Moore, while another focused upon Gary the Grouper – a fish which enjoyed watching RuPaul’s Drag Race during lockdown (yes really!).
Meanwhile in Brighton, six newly birthed baby sharks were named after the cast of ITV’s This Morning; Phillip, Holly, Ruth, Eamon, Gino and Josie.
Results of our national PR efforts
Our media outreach secured 27 hits around the sites reopening and for the news stories; including a money-can’t buy 12-minute live item on This Morning around the renaming of the Brighton baby sharks – with presenter Josie Gibson plunging into a shark pool to meet her namesake. LAD Bible and the Mail Online both featured our drag queen-loving fish while Hello Magazine named Sir Tom the seal it’s feelgood story of the week.
The coverage splash also included an interview with ITV News and 11 national and consumer hits – not to mention key regional coverage for each of the SEA LIFE sites.
Visitor numbers were strong all-summer-long; with sites regularly reaching capacity and being amongst the best performing of Merlin’s UK attractions.