CityWalk CityRockin' Holidays - Setting CityWalk Apart
You've all seen retail malls at the holidays. There are usually traditional holiday carolers or choirs to be heard. Every mall or entertainment destination has a traditional, cute, friendly-looking Santa. That's the problem, every mall or entertainment destination is the same! CityWalk needed a way to set itself apart from the "Muzak-filled" shopping meccas.
We first took inventory of resources and differentiating factors for CityWalk. One, CityWalk is known for entertainment and music. Two, CityWalk has a world-class entertainment venue, with the Gibson Amphitheatre. And, Three, one of CityWalk's anchor tenants is Hard Rock Cafe.
Given that Gibson Guitars was the title sponsor of the Gibson Amphitheatre on CityWalk, we partnered with Gibson to produce CityWalk exterior decor and garland that featured Les Paul Goldtop guitars. We changed Santa's chair to a tricked-out sleigh with Gibson guitars, as well. Santa was outfitted with shades, fingerless gloves, and his own Gibson guitar, so that he could inject a little more rock 'n roll 'tude.
A CityWalk Entertainment Manager came up with a back story that Santa was bringing the gift of Rock 'n Roll to CityWalk. Each night featured an animated pre-roll on the big CityWalk outdoor screen, showing elves making musical instruments at the North Pole and Santa flying to L.A. to bring the music. We arranged for the kick-off holiday press event to have Santa and the members of the band, Weezer, to award musical instruments to various L.A. music charities. Additionally, special collector's ornaments shaped like classic Gibson guitars were also sold for charity.
We partnered with the Hard Rock Cafe, to produce a holiday entertainment guide that contained all of the holiday programming and entertainment options available on CityWalk.
Marketing & Sales Results
Holiday revenue for Santa pictures doubled in revenue over the prior year. The Rock n' roll Santa theme expanded the market for people to take pictures with Santa beyond small children. With additional props like sunglasses, guitars and drumsticks, teens and young adults, especially those attending the KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas concert at the Gibson Amphitheatre, all wanted to get their pictures taken with Rock 'n Roll Santa.
The corporate sponsorship relationship between Universal and Gibson was strengthened.
The Rock n' Roll theme and the Hard Rock Cafe sponsorship of the entertainment guide are ongoing.
Campaign Role: Director, CityWalk Marketing - Universal CityWalk