Bristol-based Icon Films turned to Spirit PR to help maximise audience figures for their new series of Jeremy Wade’s River Monsters on ITV1 in January and February.
Brought in just before Christmas to promote the third series which started on 3 January, we had a very limited window to raise the profile of the ‘extreme angling’ series.
Dividing the programmes between the team, we headed home one evening to watch back to back episodes and identify the ‘killer story’ for PR and social media purposes.
The ‘Ball Cutter’ (the clue is in the title) soon won out, telling a dramatic and gruesome tail and delivering that all important ‘talkability’.
Through direct pitches to national newspapers, radio stations and TV chat shows as well as the tactical use of a news agency that provides copy to national news desks, we drew in over 150 items of coverage.
The series featured in The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Mirror, Daily Mail and MailOnline. Jeremy appeared on ITV1’s Daybreak, ITV West Country Tonight and Live with Gabby on Five.
This was despite a very recent ‘PR run’ by Jeremy Wade, who was promoting his new book in late autumn, and the early publication of shots from the series in one of the tabloids, before Spirit were taken on.
Spirit’s Twitter campaign also proved a real success, generating over 2,000 followers and a steady increase in conversation about the programme, including a great response to a live Q&A with a soundman who was struck by lightning.
The campaign has delivered big results; the national and regional print coverage has reached over 18 million people across the UK and with the addition of broadcast and online coverage, a total of over 60 million people. The campaign generated a 100-fold return on investment generating £300,000 worth of coverage.
Icon were delighted with the viewing figures which were consistently in the Broadcast top 100 network programmes and steadily rose as the series progressed, eventually hitting the three million mark for the final three episodes.
“This general press campaign led by Spirit was a first for Icon. We were delighted by its obvious success manifested by wide coverage and great ratings”
Laura Marshall, Managing Director, Icon Films