A huge number of unseasonal icebergs off the Newfoundland coast forced the British rowing team of Andrew ‘Mos’ Morris and Roz Savage to cancel their heroic bid to row across the Atlantic to Britain. The risks to crew and boat posed by the icebergs were simply unacceptably high.
So plan B swung into action. Raising money to buy a fleet of rowing boats to inspire both able-bodied and disabled young people had always been a golden goal of the OAR project. By rowing up the Bristol Channel and across the country via the inland waterway system, the OAR team managed to arrive in the Thames for the start of the London Olympics, thus achieving their own ‘gold’ and continuing the interest and legacy generated by our valiant Olympians.
Team GB? No, Team Ketchup
Of course, not all members of the team were actually in the boat, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t pulling hard for the project.
At Ketchup we put together our own ‘hands on’ team of specialists to steer the OAR marketing effort, ensuring the project attracted maximum attention and support. At the helm was our figurehead and leading marketing strategist, owner Michelle Jones, backed by a crew of able creatives.
Our OAR campaign was launched with our design of the innovative OAR logo which was then translated into a distinctive brand identity that informed the nature of all consumer-facing and internal communications.
Making a splash on both sides of the pond
Once underway, the campaign had a big effect. We designed, wrote and built a website that gave fans on both sides of the Atlantic the latest news, updates and project information. This website included links that allowed followers to interact with the project and find information on allied subjects – as well as including direct video links to the rowers during the voyage. Its dynamic presentation gave a true feeling of the epic nature and underlying difficulties of the endeavour, and the copy gave a sensation of the momentousness of the event as well conveying the essential facts.
The team were interviewed on TV and radio shows in Canada and Britain and were deluged by twitter and facebook commentary and messages of goodwill.
No, we haven’t got the blisters
The sense of disappointment at having to cancel the first part of the voyage was obliterated once ‘Bojangles’ – the specialist boat designed and built by British ocean rowing expert Mick Dawson – made its way up the Thames to massive applause, and came to rest at Tower Bridge. The gigantic Olympic symbol hanging from its upper bridgework was certainly an inspiring sight. Well, the marketing and creative team from Ketchup weren’t in the boat and hadn’t done anything more strenuous than thinking hard, and judiciously wielding a mac programme or two. But the sense of achievement was noticeable – even in land-locked Melton Mowbray!