Thorpe Park

Challenge

Build anticipation and drive advance ticket sales for THORPE PARK’s most extreme ride to date, THE SWARM by maximising talkability and generating two thirds of coverage before the ride launches.
The Swarm

Solution

  • Implement a series of creative ideas to generate pre-launch awareness and buzz in the run up to the launch of THE SWARM. Highlights included the below
  • TV presenter and model Chloe Madeley announced the name of the ride and its build wearing an military-inspired ensemble
  • Adrenalin junkie and THORPE PARK enthusiast John Richards became the first person to propose to his girlfriend from the top of THE SWARM
  • Guerrilla activity increased talkability as a group of 20 people dressed in black morph suits swarmed through iconic London locations
  • Defined the ride's near miss element by releasing pictures to media with the announcement that crash test dummies had returned alarmingly damaged, some with missing limbs, following their debut launch around the track
  • Ex RAF and Red Arrows pilots were challenged to put their nerves of steel to the test by being the first humans to ride test THE SWARM
  • Collaboration with British band You Me At Six who released a single dedicated entirely to the launch of THE SWARM
  • 97 journalists transported to THORPE PARK to ride THE SWARM in an exclusive closed-park night event. 100% attendance from journalists
  • Celebrity packed event including Joey Essex, Brian Dowling, Matt Edmondson, Liz McClarnon, Jess Wright and Lethal Bizzle
  • Encouraged celebrity and media tweeting – including the hashtag #THESWARM – for word of mouth to spread virally
  • Management of the event – with group tours of the rides, celebrity handling, creative photography and an ear to the ground for the juiciest gossip
  • Gossip, pictures and video content were issued to media following the event
  • Results

  • Coverage in The Jonathan Ross Show, The Sun, Daily Star, Daily Mail, OK!, New, Now Magazine, Celebs on Sunday, Kerrang!, NME, BBC Radio One, Zoo magazine and websites around the world
  • 175 pieces of coverage across broadcast, national and regional, local and online press coverage
  • AVE of £ £463,768 (excluding online coverage) reaching an audience of 33.6 billion
  • THORPE PARK received four times the usual amount of traffic to their website following the coverage on The Jonathan Ross Show
  • #THE SWARM was trending on Twitter on the day the ride opened to the public
  • "Launching a rollercoaster is a big challenge, especially when attempting to generate pre-awareness using PR alone before people can even ride it. However, with this campaign, we were able to achieve global recognition for THE SWARM and continued to build on this momentum throughout each additional piece of activity implemented. This has definitely been one of the most successful ride launches, and absolutely the most creative ride launch, in THORPE PARK’s history."
    Sarah Morris, PR Manager