ICON Rises From the Ground

As the launch of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s rollercoaster – ICON approaches, we shared an exclusive update with the media on the progress of the £16.25 million development, ahead of its spring launch.

Revealed with exclusive behind-the-scenes images of the construction as the park doors are closed for winter, adrenaline enthusiasts were able to see for the first time the world’s first double launch rollercoaster rising from the ground.

Over 100 tonnes of grey steel track can be seen hoisted into position, including the crucial section of the rollercoaster where riders will be taken on an inverted loop at 27 metres in height. Also taking shape is ICON’s impressive launch station where riders will embark and disembark the ride, after a two and a half minute exhilarating journey across 1.14 kilometres of track experiencing the same levels of acceleration felt in a Formula 1 car.

A fantastic show of over 400 pieces of coverage was generated including:

  • Inclusion on leading national news sites including The MailOnline, The Metro, BBC News Online, AOL and com
  • Over 390 regional articles in titles including the Belfast Telegraph, the Oxford Mail and Lancashire Evening Post

Speaking on the development, Blackpool Pleasure Beach Managing Director Amanda Thompson OBE, commented:  “ICON is really making its mark on the park, new developments can be spotted daily as the construction is really starting to pick up pace and coming to life before our eyes. The ride is going to be a huge addition for us and we’re delighted it’s on track for a spring 2018 launch.”

Since work commenced in December 2016 over 100,000 hours have been invested on site by over 50 workers and hundreds of tonnes of steel installed with up to 10 truckloads arriving on a daily basis.

For further details about ICON and to purchase advanced tickets please visit: www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com/icon

Half Way to a Billion

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It feels like only yesterday when the Rule 5 team, British Cycling and riders from 42 nations congregated at the Lee Valley VeloPark in London for the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

The biggest track cycling event of its kind in the modern era, over 52,000 spectators descended upon the capital for five days of action-packed racing to see Great Britain’s track stars, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Jason Kenny, Owain Doull, Laura Trott and Becky James, compete against the world’s best for the coveted rainbow jerseys and the chance to gain crucial qualification points for Rio 2016.

A team of five worked shifts throughout the week to manage two full service press rooms and produce live social media content on Twitter and Facebook. The social media campaign incorporated engaging video content and photography with new technologies and platforms helping us reach an astonishing global audience approaching half a billion impressions on social channels.

Medal wins from Great Britain’s men’s and women’s team pursuit teams, plus Laura Trott in the omnium, Jon Dibben in the points race and Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish in the Madison on the final day of racing provided electrifying content.

A single image of Sir Bradley Wiggins kissing the forehead of Mark Cavendish after their gold in the Madison event gained 8,887 likes on Instagram, was shared 147 times on Twitter and 233 times on Facebook.

Social coverage was monitored using Facebook Insights and Tweet Binder, which allowed the Twitter statistics to be tracked in real-time. Over 62,000 tweets used the hashtag #TWC2016, reaching 68.9 million people and generating 434,185,086 impacts.

Pre-event, live and post campaign conventional activity saw coverage in all of the UK’s national broadsheets in addition to widespread consumer, cycling and regional media totalling almost 300,000 impressions.

The sweet ingredient to viral success…

Like dalmation

Viral content – the holy grail of web curios – is a digital communicator’s dream. So, you can imagine the resounding Rule 5 glee when a puppy cake picture we shared on our client’s Facebook page hit the sharing sweet-spot this week.

With a collective 48,525 shares and a staggering 147,194 likes (and counting) – this innocent sleeping Dalmatian pup added an overwhelming 3,000+ fans to the Renshaw Baking Facebook page over the course of the May bank holiday.

As a part of the wider communications strategy for the brand, one of the key objectives of R5’s social media programme is to encourage the Renshaw social community to share with us their cake decorating projects and photos.

As you’d expect, the user generated content we typically share generates higher levels of engagement than straight, brand-owned content – ‘Dimples’ the Dalmatian however, set a new record for what gets our fans talking.

A quick peep at the brand’s Facebook insights shows that sharing the picture made a significant impact on the page with the total reach rocketing up over 11,000% on the previous week’s communications. Added to that was an increase of almost 60,000% in the number of people talking about the page and a 50% rise in the number of friends of fans the page now has links to.

Timed well to hit the mood of the nation ready to pack their desks up for the long weekend, the domino effect of this shareable pup (lemon flavoured and covered with Renshaw Ready to Roll Icing) also inundated cake-decorator Trish Clarke with orders for bespoke doggie cakes.

Proof is in the pudding (sorry!) that when it comes to the internet – animals and food really are the key ingredients to viral success.

Track Cycling World Cup – The Audience Online

British Cycling Rule 5

When we were asked by British Cycling to deliver a social media campaign for the Track Cycling World Cup they wanted us to ensure that fans could get a look at the action – whether or not they had tickets – for the sell-out weekend at the new Glasgow Velodrome.  We had just three months in which to do it.

We took full advantage of the post Olympic excitement and interest in cycling to quickly build a following and used tickets, rider profiles and exclusive photography of the new Velodrome to drive interest on Twitter.  The agency also implemented its own process for identifying similar or interested accounts and encouraged them to follow.   A dedicated Facebook page was also created and used to share behind the scenes images and information.  In the immediate run up to event we posted team selections news, insights about the venues and promoted broader media coverage; linking to articles in the press.

Rule 5During the World Cup itself a combined British Cycling and Rule 5 Team were stationed in the press stand and reported the event live alongside the world’s media giving the audience instant online news and images.  Pictures of Sir Chris Hoy’s appearance were delivered online live, whilst he was still speaking to the crowd.

  • We gained over 5000 twitter followers in three months (1,500 over target) and the Facebook weekly reach peaked at over half a million – five times the target figure.
  • Over 4000 people engaged with comments, likes and @posts on the Twitter and Facebook pages over three days of the World Cup itself.
  • The social media platforms also operated as a vital customer service tool – reducing calls and assisting with enquiries from fans.

Not only were we able to deliver an enormous reach over a short period but we showed how social media can work alongside conventional media at a major world sporting event.