The Polar Express is a seasonal attraction, a Christmas train, brought over to the UK by Warner Bros. and British American Rail. The train is in two remote countryside locations, Dartmoor and Weardale, and is only open to the public for six weeks. Whilst the attractions are in the UK, Cube worked remotely from its US owners, liaising via Skype and telephone, relying on the team on the ground heavily.
Cube launched the UK’s first official Warner Brothers Polar Express attractions in 2012 and then, due to the financial success of the inaugural events and praise for the efforts and hard-working nature of the Cube team, again in 2013 and 2014. The team at Cube devised and managed a comprehensive full communications strategy. As well as managing the PR and social media, Cube facilitated all marketing, advertising and media buying. We also incorporated the other elements of Cube, design and digital, by building a microsite for The Polar Express and designing all adverts and marketing collateral.
Cube targeted a number of sectors with the initial announcement press release each year varying from parenting titles, to travel and tourism, national titles, supplements, children’s titles and regional press. We also targeted other media, such as TV and radio, securing interviews with both the BBC and ITV.
Cube managed an intensive social media campaign, increasing the Facebook following from 800 at the end of the first year to 45.5K at the end of the third year. This dramatic increase was due to constant engaging content being created and scheduled as well as a high engagement rate between fans and The Polar Express. We posted content, including videos, images, trivia, quizzes, as well as real time updates on the attraction, daily.
After conducting market research, we devised a marketing strategy that would include direct mail and radio advertising a well as low key stunts in the local area. These all aided in producing record ticket sales. We also arranged the photography and videography for both events, writing the brief, sourcing the photographer and directing on the day. These videos and photos are now used in marketing campaigns across the UK and the USA.
The campaign was a huge success, selling 45,000 tickets and generating £1m in turnover in its first year, £1.2 million in its second and £1.5 million in its third year. Each year Cube managed to reduce the advertising and marketing spend, whilst increasing profits. We achieved coverage in a number of key titles, including The Guardian, The Times, Parent and Toddler, FlyBe, Choice Magazine as well as regional press.