British Airways Club

Covent Garden Beach Campaign

Case Study


CUNNING were briefed by British Airways Holidays to create a high profile launch event that would capture both media and consumer attention for the launch of British Airways Holidays’ first-ever tropical beaches brochure. The event had to appeal to a younger audience as well as reach British Airways’ core target of affluent ABC1 professionals.


In essence, we wanted to create that special holiday feeling in Covent Garden. The event had to be engaging so that people would want to interact with the beach and then go onto talk about their experience once they had left. We also needed to get Tropical Holidays brochures into people’s hands to add longevity to the event and enable recipients to browse in their own time. For the Media, we needed to add a hook to get them to cover the event.

CUNNING created a fully integrated promotion, combining the following elements:

The Beach Installation
CUNNING managed the design and installation of a luxurious tropical beach in the East Piazza of Covent Garden Market. The Beach was a 25-metre installation with 50 tonnes of luxurious white-sand, extensive tropical planting, a water feature, fully functional bamboo beach bar with non-alcoholic smoothies and beach furniture, including beach balls and frisbees.

Celebrity Endorsement
To attract national and international media coverage, Kylie Minogue was hired. We ensured the media were briefed so that all resulting coverage focused on the launch of the new brochure... not just Kylie.

10 models acted as holidaymakers, entertaining visitors to The Beach, collecting prize draw entries and distributing the brochures. Eight holidays worth approximately £5,000 each were given away during the day.

80 carefully selected promo staff dressed in sarongs and shorts were sent onto public transport and into high footfall shopping areas such as Oxford Circus. They acted as “live adverts” raising awareness for BA’s Tropical Brochure and driving people to the beach event.

In addition, 18 promo staff were placed on three London Station concourses. Their role was to simply to distribute flyers. The flyers directed people to the Beach as well as online to win a British Airways tropical holiday.

In the evening, The Beach became the backdrop for a British Airways Executive Club Event at Chez Gerard with a series of fire-shows and steel band sets.

“What a fab event the BA beach was, and to have Kylie here! Also, the reception for BA Executive Club members was great, excellent for us to be welcoming these high profile customers to our site. Another brilliant event from CUNNING!” Sue McAinsh, Events Manager, Covent Garden Market.

We ran a promotion in Metro on the same day promoting The Tropical Beach event and inviting readers the chance to win a holiday to Mauritius.


CUNNING estimated that the event directly reached 788,000 people.

In total, 45 pieces of broadcast and press coverage were generated in the UK and abroad.

In the UK alone, the total media impacts generated was 9,855,312, with an editorial value of £695,822.

In addition, the Metro promotion reached 471,711 with the competition generating 13,486 entries. Metro described the promotion as “The highest response for a one day, Londononly competition that the team could remember”.

17,000 names were captured for future direct mail activity from the website and Metro competition.

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