“Santa’s Water Wonderland”
CLIENT: Newport Aquarium
EXHIBIT: Seasonal Holiday Show
CAMPAIGN: Santa’s Water Wonderland
OBJECTIVE: Create a holiday tradition to drive seasonal attendance
When we first started working with the Newport Aquarium, we discovered the Aquarium had never developed a successful promotion for the winter holidays. As a result, we created a new holiday show called Santa’s Water Wonderland. It’s a dive show featuring an underwater Santa on a sleigh driven by giant sea horses.
One of the biggest challenges of the show was tying it to the brand. To do that, we had to answer the question of how Santa wound up underwater. We created a story about how Santa’s reindeer had run off – leaving him stranded and jeopardizing his ability to deliver everyone’s presents. Then he heard of a magical place beneath the sea where seahorses could fly. So he dove into the ocean to find it. The story includes an animated short film that plays before each show that we wrote and produced.
Santa’s Water Wonderland was so successful Newport Aquarium registered the name Scuba Santa®. It received national media coverage three years in a row and was featured on the Today Show, The Early Show, Good Morning America and in The New York Times.
The Kentucky Tourism Council has called it one of the Top Ten Holiday Events in the State since it was launched. More importantly, attendance during the winter Holiday season broke all previous records and continues to do so on an annual basis. Santa’s Water Wonderland has become a holiday tradition in Cincinnati.