The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon Strategic Marketing Alliance
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The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon Strategic Marketing Alliance

The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon integrated marketing alliance has been heralded by the marketing and travel industry as a strong strategic alliance that provided a unique business solution to tap the family market via public relations.

Paul Holmes

The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon integrated marketing alliance has been heralded by the marketing and travel industry as a strong strategic alliance that provided a unique business solution to tap the family market via traditional public relations, trade support and advertising.

The program is the first alliance between a U.S. kids’ television network and government tourism agency, and ranges from original programming, special events, cause-related efforts and advertising to fostering of environmental initiatives.

Market Opportunity: 

With more than 40 percent of all adult purchases (over $150 billion) influenced by children, (according to a study by Penn Shoen & Berland) and 58 percent of children having “a say” in where their family vacations, The Bahamas determined that children should be seen and heard.  Public relations was called upon to develop an integrated marketing campaign that would be viewed as “cool,” exciting and unprecedented, reach multiple generations and strengthen the destination’s position in the family travel market.

Objectives & Goals:

· To increase tourism to The Islands Of The Bahamas by targeting the family travel segment.
· To establish family vacation destination programs that separate The Islands Of The Bahamas from its competition.
· To drive home the brand declaration that “The Islands Of The Bahamas is The #1 Overseas Destination for U.S. Families and Kids.”
· Capture three generations of travelers:  parents, their children (and friends) and grandparents (not as old as expected).

Reseach and Strategic Approach:

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism immediately commissioned research to be conducted by an independent consulting firm to gauge the family travel marketplace, the destination’s appeal to children and adults and to determine the important factors for developing family travel programs.  In addition, public relations researched the leading national brands that both children and parents would recognize, trust and view as credible authorities.

It was determined that Nickelodeon, the number one children’s entertainment medium, would be the ideal strategic partner to capture the emerging family market.  Through months of discussions and negotiations, the agency crafted an alliance truly unprecedented in scope of content, depth and destination visibility.  Estimated at $30 million, the strategic marketing alliance that was created spans several layers of business employing original programming, special events and cause-related efforts to drive the message that in The Islands Of The Bahamas, “It Just Keeps Getting Better” for families and children.

Results:

New Research/Focus Groups:  Two focus groups of children were held in the U.S. to determine the key messages and to choose the logo that would identify this alliance.  As a result, “The Islands Of The Bahamas:  Are we there yet?” was created.  Additional on-island research and focus groups were conducted to determine how hoteliers should target family travel.

The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon Integrated Marketing Program / Page 2
TEENick Aaron’s Party:  The Islands Of The Bahamas sponsored the TEENick Aaron’s Party concert tour, featuring Aaron Carter, Leslie Carter and the A*Teens.  The U.S. tour visited 43 cities with many of the concerts sold out. The TEENnick Festival area included a colorful Islands Of The Bahamas Pavilion showcasing Bahamian culture and activities and offering chances to win a free trip to The Bahamas! Bahamas Tourist representatives were on hand at each TEENick concert, providing parents with information about traveling to The Bahamas and special vacation packages. Seven TEENick promotional spots were filmed on-island and appeared nationally on Nickelodeon.
The Big Help: Nickelodeon’s grassroots campaign designed to encourage and empower kids to volunteer in their communities. Through 2001, The Big Help is educating children and parents on the importance of protecting water eco-systems including the world’s third largest reef located in The Bahamas. The water-themed Big Help Mobile tour is visiting 50 aquariums and zoos across the country with fun facts, trivia and activities such as activity books, Bahamas map giveaways and Build-Your-Own Bahamas Reef games.  In addition, promotional spots about Big Help initiatives and The Islands Of The Bahamas were filmed in the Out Islands and appear daily on Nickelodeon. Nick also worked with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism on developing an on-island wetlands clean-up program.

Slimetime Live The Islands Of The Bahamas: Five, two and one-half hour shows were produced in The Bahamas and aired twice on Nickelodeon.  To promote the special broadcasts, a national on-air sweepstakes was also conducted.  The Slimetime shows featured a variety of segments including an interview with Tourism Minister Turnquest at local landmarks and many Atlantis resort segments.  In addition, Nick.com contained information on the broadcast and featured links to the Atlantis and Bahamas websites.
Nick News:  The highly-acclaimed news show, hosted by Linda Ellerbee, visited The Bahamas and developed an in-depth news feature on the world’s third largest reef located in The Bahamas and how Bahamian and U.S. children were joining forces to help save the world’s water ecosystems.

Extreme Games & Sports:  Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk was approached to develop two one-hour sports segments in The Bahamas.  The show will feature Tony as a rookie learning to Scuba dive in The Bahamas.

Media Coverage:  An outreach program was launched to promote the alliance, publicize the  Bahamas giveaways and promote other family destination programs and offers.  Results included stories that appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Promo magazine, Advertising Age, Miami Herald, Travel Weekly, Travel Agent, US News & World Reports, Adweek, Los Angeles Tribune, Time Out New York, Portland Herald, New York Times, Media Week, etc.

The Islands Of The Bahamas Nickelodeon integrated marketing alliance has been heralded by the marketing and travel industry as a strong strategic alliance that provided a unique business solution to tap the family market via traditional public relations, trade support and advertising. Promo magazine named the alliance “one of the top 25 marketing marvels and best promoted brands of 2001.”  Bahamas resorts, hotels, attractions and airlines reported significant increases in family visitorship over 2000.  Through the various alliance marketing programs, media and travel industry outreach, family-focused commercials, research, focus groups, sponsorships, advertising, travel agent industry outreach, websites programs, and giveaways, it is estimated that The Islands Of The Bahamas, positioned as an ideal family vacation destination, reached millions through the Nickelodeon alliance.  The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism estimates that more than 500,000 children will visit The Bahamas bringing their parents along for a vacation, again, and again and again. 

 

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