We "Intercepted" Media Away from the Super Bowl to Shine the Spotlight on the Queen Mary 2.
Queen Mary 2's maiden call to San Francisco posed several challenges: the ship was scheduled to sail in under the Golden Gate Bridge at nearly kick off time on Super Bowl Sunday, one of the most widely viewed television events in the U.S., and therefore one of the most highly competitive media environments. In addition, the city's Mayor Gavin Newsom, who was scheduled to participate in a traditional plaque and key ceremony onboard the ship, was in the midst of a major scandal. These two events were poised to severely overshadow the ship's historic maiden call, endangering the media response and limiting the potential for the ship's traditional "arrival spectators" that turn out to greet the incoming vessel.
To cut through all this media clutter, Redpoint positioned the event as a history-making moment: QM2 was the largest vessel ever to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, and indeed it was the first time these two iconic feats of engineering would be seen together. We worked with the SFCVB and Port Authority to scout out prime viewing locations and harnessed local media to rally community attendance through pre-arrival coverage of viewing "maps."
We secured Associated Press for an exclusive photo opportunity, and the photographer accompanied our helicopter/b-roll crew for aerial arrival shots. A media alert outlined all opportunities/times for arrival shots of the ship, tours, and interviews with key ship staff. Morning shows were secured for live remotes from the ship and feeds to national news affiliates. In addition, we secured the local CBS affiliate KPIX the opportunity to put a camera crew on the pilot boat to film the ship's arrival into San Francisco harbor. B-roll and photo packages were distributed.
Pre-arrival coverage saturated the SF market, including multiple stories in the San Francisco Chronicle leading up to the event, with detailed maps of the city indicating prime viewing locations for the arrival. Nearly 50,000 spectators turned out to watch the ship sail in, and the media frenzy started before she even arrived. Broadcast highlights included national coverage on The Today Show, Fox News Channel, CBS News, ABCNews, and CNN Headline News, as well as unprecedented regional coverage in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Miami, Boston, and hundreds of other news stations across the country. Print coverage spanned from the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle all the way to the UK Daily Mail. Total broadcast impressions for just the ONE DAY OF COVERAGE totaled nearly 35 million viewers, and print readership exceeded 25 million.