• WHAT

    Campaign to help sell tickets for Flying Scotsman’s inaugural trip to Cornwall

  • HOW

    • Staged news stories to extend interest in available Flying Scotsman trips and bookings
    • Generated fast facts about the world’s most famous steam train, the first to break 100mph
    • Secured broadcast interviews throughout four weeks of intense activity
    • Leveraged pieces with key bloggers, vloggers, rail enthusiast publications and Area Tourism Partnerships
    • Partnered with media outlets to create competitions
  • WHERE

    Regional and national media

  • WHEN

    September-October 2018

“Steam Dreams turned to Absolute at very short notice when our own efforts to sell out some Flying Scotsman trips in Devon and Cornwall was clearly not going to be enough. Only 5 weeks before the trips were due to run, we rang them and within 4 days they were helping us host a re-launch of our offering (we had already done a press conference 8 weeks previously) and they managed to manufacture enough new angles to ensure a massive amount of coverage.

“Not only were they a pleasure to deal with, but not expensive and open to the ideas of others. Absolute took all the hassle away from us and delivered a fantastic campaign.

“An investment of a few thousand pounds with Absolute PR & Marketing had a ROI of about 1,000%, which with 5 weeks’ notice is pretty good going for anyone!”

Marcus Robertson, Founder of Steam Dreams

Steam Dreams 2018

The challenge

To raise the profile of the Flying Scotsman’s journey; increase ticket sales; maximise print and digital media coverage and drive web-traffic and online sales to Steam Dreams.

Our solutions

Absolute developed a strategy to build anticipation and excitement surrounding Flying Scotsman’s inaugural visit to Cornwall, launching the countdown to her arrival with a series of news stories and angles for the media to keep the story fresh, relevant and front of mind.

With one month to go before her arrival, Absolute set up pre-arrival broadcast opportunities ranging from interviews with former firemen, to the founder of Steam Dreams. Absolute negotiated competitions online and in print and released news that Flying Scotsman would be double-headed with the engine Mayflower for the first time since 1976. National and regional variants of the release were developed to enhance bookings on the outbound and return legs of the journey with passenger collections in Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth. Footage of Flying Scotsman was made available, including runs on the section into Devon.

Two weeks from departure, Absolute announced that Stanier Black 5, an engine used on the iconic  ‘Harry Potter’ Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland, would replace Mayflower, building additional excitement and interest among a broader, younger audience.

Then, with days to go until her arrival, Absolute announced the addition of an extra journey, between Parr and Plymouth, building fresh interest and additional impetus to ticket sales.

Absolute worked closely with broadcast partners to secure media interviews, including but not limited to ITV West Country, BBC spotlight, BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Somerset, BBC Radio Cornwall, Heart FM, Pirate FM and The Breeze, both in advance and live on the day.

What we achieved

With under five weeks until the event, Absolute secured 11 broadcast media interviews, over 85 pieces of online coverage and 21 pieces of coverage in print both on a regional and national scale – delivering a ROI of around 1,000%.