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M&C Saatchi PR

Core disciplines: Corporate communications, Experiential marketing, Public relations (PR)

WATCH VIDEO: Inspired by the Virgin Holidays Wonderlist experience at the Lion Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, this 35ft high Treehouse on London's Southbank aims to give visitors a truly premium experience

The Virgin Treehouse has been awarded Best PR Tactical at The Travel Marketing Awards (2017) and is a Finalist for PR Week Awards' Culture Media, Sport and Travel category (2016)

"It was a phenomenally successful activation that drove brand-fame, but more importantly had a direct commercial impact allowing us to beat sales targets by 400% in the first month." - Virgin Holidays

"Isn’t @VirginHolidays’ Southbank treehouse magical? A little bit of South Africa in London" - @richardbranson (10.3million followers)

We hosted a preview media event for 50 journalists across interior design, food and travel sectors alongside mainstream news and picture editors

"We could not think of a better agency partner than M&C Saatchi PR to bring a campaign such as this to life - it was a truly integrated blend of experiential, consumer PR, social media and content that drew on teams across the agency." - Virgin Holidays

"The campaign has been so successful that it altered our overall approach to communications - we intend to do more integrated 'earned' activations like this in the future." - Virgin Holidays

The experience engaged renowned interior designer, Hubert Zandberg, to design The Treehouse, and Petrus Madutlela, the former MasterChef finalist, to produce a four course ‘safari-themed’ meal for visitors, driving opportunities to inspire and talk about the holiday offering and destination

"So @VirginHolidays built a treehouse on the Southbank and we can testify that it is really quite special." - @GlamourMagUK (488,000 followers)

WATCH VIDEO: Appealing to Virgin Holidays’ ‘young explorer’ demographic, we invited YouTubers 'The Michalaks', whose channel has over 222k subscribers, to stay overnight at The Treehouse. They shared their own video and images on social, reaching an additional 925,000 consumers

The Client

Virgin Holidays

The Problem

How do you catch the eye of consumers and drive bookings at the noisiest time of the year for the travel industry?

The Strategy

Inspire, Empower and Encourage - disrupt consumers and encourage them to Dream Bigger.

The Idea

The Virgin Treehouse - a 35-foot high luxury treehouse built on London’s Southbank and modelled on the treehouse accommodation in South Africa available from Virgin Holidays’ new ‘Wonderlist’ product.

As well as taking care of the build we created a social teaser, ran a preview media event as well as developed and pitched feature articles to target specific audiences.

We also ran a public competition to win an overnight stay at the treehouse and invited selected digital influencers to spend a night, working with them to develop their own channel specific content.

The Impact


617%

increase in sales the following month


3,500

competition entries (target 500)


2,100,000

people viewed online content


117

UK media articles generated in a week


92%

positive message penetration


12,400,000

total social reach - exceeding our target by 4.4million

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