Find out what happened when National Trust asked The Beano to help launch its successful Wild Child campaign designed to energise families with children to visit their sites across the UK.
National Trust wanted to energise families with children to visit their sites across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They wanted newsworthy activity that would tie into their ‘kids go free’ summer promotional offer and help dispel the ‘keep off the grass’ ‘fuddy-duddy’ image.
DC Thomson’s Youth Insight research, along with National Trust’s own visitor Insight identified a good cross over between audiences and revealed a classic brand fit between the Beano and National Trust.
As Britain’s best and most famous comic, the Beano wanted to use its well-loved characters to create an interactive partnership with the National Trust to promote the ‘kids go free’ promotion and drive excitement around family days out.
The idea centred on Beanotown’s most famous residents ‘taking over’ the National Trust. A specially created ‘Gnashional Trust’ issue of the Beano showing Dennis the Menace and his pals enjoying all of the great National Trust attractions would help to change perceptions of the National Trust and drive footfall amongst families with children.
The unique ‘Gnashional trust’ 30th July 2011 issue of the Beano featured five of our most popular comic strips including Bash Street Kids and Mini the Minx located at nine different National Trust sites around the country.
A character branded competition and National Trust advertising- with a Beano twist also featured within the magazine to fully integrate the National Trust brand into the print title. Online, National Trust took over Beano.com with integrated content, advertising and jointly branded downloads along with Beano content appearing on the National Trust website.
To create a greater integration between the Beano brand and National Trust, the Beano team worked with National Trust to develop materials for use at each of the featured attractions. The ‘Gnashional Trust’ issue was available at the different locations along with giant poster artwork, activity sheets and colouring competitions for children visiting the attractions, along with appearances by the Dennis costume character.
This provided added excitement and engagement around the campaign for the young visitors.
Working with National Trust’s PR agency, the activity was promoted as ‘two national treasures’ working together to drive media coverage and to promote the ‘kids go free’ campaign.
- This unique and creative proposition working with Britain’s best and most famous comic characters generated headlines and both national and regional media coverage.
- In just four days the activity had generated PR with a value of over £400k.
- Over 4,000 downloads of the ‘kids go free’ voucher on the Beano pages at nationaltrust.org.uk- a total of 40,000 downloads overall which was a 25% rise year-on-year.
- Over 1,500 separate downloads of the National Trust branded wallpaper and content from beano.com.
- A survey amongst our readers showed some impressive results including:
- 98% prompted brand recall rate and high levels of enjoyment of the special issue including 79% rating the issue as excellent.
- 87% agree ‘I loved Dennis & Gnasher’s adventure at the castle. I didn’t know castles were so fun.’
- 83% would like to visit one of the locations after seeing it in the Beano, with 68% have already or plan to ask their family to go to one of these venues.
“Working with the DC Thomson guys has been absolutely fantastic from start to finish. Their enthusiasm, flexibility & ability to think much wider than the initial ideas proposed allowed us to work together to deliver a hugely exciting & successful campaign. Not only did the campaign widely exceed its targets in terms of PR exposure but at our properties, our teams were able to up‐weight it in their own relevant way….The great results achieved are testament to their hard work & creativity. Big thanks from all at National Trust!”
Laura Appleby, Visitor PR & Marketing Manager, National Trust
"Thank you for organising the Beano partnership. It has been fantastic at Lyme Park and we had over 600 children do the Billy Whizz Quiz around the house, It was so popular, we put it on for 3 extra days! Loved by children & adults alike. A fabulous idea!”
Georgina Ferguson, Property Manager, Lyme