With rolling green farmland, winding pathways and colourful Hobbit holes, the legendary attraction truly was the perfect backdrop for a world-class running event. We launched the campaign with a boosted Facebook event and post incentivising earlybird entries with a lure to ‘Win a Waikato Weekend’. This kickstarted our out-of-town advertising and began building intrigue and curiosity about the event, by educating and inspiring.
Collaborating with the Hobbiton team, we gauged and identified key target audiences that would be interested in signing up. Appealing to a variety of participants, our magic formula reached eager eventgoers from the hardcore runners, to those seeking a behind-the-scenes-look at the Hobbiton landscape, and those looking for a fun active challenge – but don’t take exercise too seriously.
With borders remaining closed, we set our sights on a domestic audience utilising our finessed targeting skills – who would have thought niche interests like The Lord of the Rings and ‘marathon running’ would ever be used in the same audience group! From here, we served up the target audience with stunning visuals of the Hobbiton landscape across Facebook first-touch, Display and YouTube advertising – allowing the viewer to put themselves in the picture and navigate towards the website to find out more.
Remarketing ads helped remind website visitors of the key event dates and created a sense of urgency; and Google Search ads filled the funnel, capturing intent with terms like ‘new zealand marathon’ through to ‘running events 2022’.
This brand-new event was not without its curveballs – during a volatile stage in events planning, there were multiple reschedules due to limits on outdoor gatherings. However, with our flexible digital-first approach, we were easily able to turn ads on and off, adapt creative to accommodate new dates, and ride any waves of change with ease. This reinforced to Hobbiton that digital is much more agile than print channels, and meant we could ‘keep the lights on’ and retain solid traction right through until event day.
The event was a resounding success – with over 1000 participants enjoying the epic adventure on a stunning blue-sky day. At Maverick Digital, we’re all about getting out there and doing something new, seizing the adventure and exploring New Zealand’s incredible landscapes – and so the Middle-Earth Halfling Marathon encompassed this in every way. With borders re-opening and the groundwork laid, we can’t wait to play our part in growing the event for years to come.
Are you an event organiser or promoter looking for top-in-class advertising strategy and execution? Reach out, and let’s chat all things event marketing – exploring how to reach high-intent audiences and smash your ticket-sales targets together.