Back in January, when the air was crisp and the radiators were doing ten to the dozen, we set to work on an exciting idea at Space 48.
A few of us had received remote control helicopters over Christmas and had brought them into the office for a bit of lunchtime fun during the abysmal winter months. Sure enough, laughter and fun ensued which then led to us all buying helicopters. No lunch was complete without a competition to land our choppers on a mug top or the office printer. They became-and still are-part of the Space 48 landscape.
It was during a meeting one afternoon when we were thinking of unique ways to promote Space 48 it dawned on us: we needed to use the power of the chopper to help us on our mission.
The task to source 50 green helicopters, reams of green wrapping paper, oodles of batteries and create a suitable buzz began.
The enormity of sorting the above out was soon realised and we set about on our individual jobs to make this idea a reality.
Who we targeted
Compiling the list of clients and companies we wanted to send helicopters turned out to be a challenge in itself. We wanted to send them to clients and partners who have been instrumental in our business or to companies who we thought might benefit from knowing about our existence as Magento Enterprise Partners. The list we had originally put together was rather large so it took a couple of attempts to refine it.
We chose a mixture of companies from sports and fashion retailers to creative agencies. We researched who best to send the parcels to for each company and then decided when and how best to send them.
We created a teaser letter which was sent by first class post two days before the parcel to create a buzz. The helicopters once wrapped, batteries added and branded up, were sent out by courier two days after the letter.
Read the letters we sent out here
The whole purpose of the PR exercise was not to necessarily gain new clients right away, but to raise awareness of who we are and what we do. If we gained some clients as a result -direct or indirect- then that was considered a bonus. The last thing we wanted to do was appear spammy or as if we were hitting the hard sell.
Within a day of us sending out the initial letters we were already getting Tweets about them. The buzz was exactly what we had hoped for and the hype continued to snowball over the coming days until the helicopters themselves started arriving on people’s desks. In addition to the letter we created a page on our website where people could upload images and videos of their helicopters and also enter to win a helicopter flight experience.
Some of the brilliant photos and comments we had from people…
Chris Marsh, Melbourne Hosting “Exciting letter in the post from @Space48ers today…”
“Thank you to Space 48 for our epic gift. We love you guys!”
Stephen Elldred, Effortless Skin “Just found the perfect launch i(Pad) for the gift from Space 48!”
Daniel Ashcroft, KMP Digitata “Received a free helicopter from Space 48! Our lunchtime activity is sorted.”
Jordan Wilson, PushON “Massive thanks to Space 48 for my new toy! Currently refueling before take off.”
Mike Carter, Orchard “Impressive chopper. Awesome DM piece from our friends at Space 48. This is ace, thanks guys!”
Gemma Hargreaves, Manchester Science Park “Well this is a bit cool Space 48!”
Sherrie Rhodes, SweetTooth “Is this the surprise headed our way?! Exciting!!!”
Steve Gale, CTI Digital “Woohoo, toys for Steve have arrived from those nice chaps @Space48ers. Now to make good on my air wolf video promise”
Matt Booth, Northern Digitals “Received a great pressie from @space48ers. Looking forward to getting it up in the air.”
Brandon Egley, GoOutdoors “Look what arrived for me to play with courtesy of @Space48ers.. fun fun!”
All in all, the helicopter mission has been considered a great success for us and has without a doubt raised the profile of Space 48. We’ve gained a lot more followers on Twitter and received some interesting enquiries from companies via phone and email.
A recent night out at Manc Digi Bowl saw someone who we’d sent a copter to taking the effort to come over to thank us for the gift, he was genuinely chuffed…it warmed the cockles of our hearts.