First, We Must ABSOLUTELY Make BIG Introductions
The days where you could arrange an evening of festivities for yourself and a group of friends seem like it was from a different life. Whilst much of the leisure industry is on hiatus, this period can be useful, and even cathartic, for companies to reflect on past achievements and problems that have been overcome. Reminding ourselves of resolve in the face of adversity has surely never been more timely.
Absolutely Karting, part of the Absolutely Leisure Group, pride themselves on doing racing “better” and “faster” than anybody. With double-level track sites in both Bristol and Maidenhead, the company caters to thrill seekers of all ages 8+ and any group size.
Enter the Big Cat Agency and Absolutely Leisure partnership! Having been Absolutely Leisure’s digital marketing and creative partner since 2017, we noticed that Karting was underperforming. We took it upon ourselves to think of a solution that would increase both revenues and awareness in this key business category.
Missing That Spark
Absolutely Karting found themselves in a tight spot when it came to attracting new customers. Karting fanatics weren't the problem – they'd come and race based on the excitement of the track, the competition, the technicality and many more elements that the general public wouldn’t even consider!
‘Enthusiasts’, or loyal customers, constituted a low level of overall revenue (very much like most products and services), and THAT is where Absolutely Karting were struggling. You can't run a big go karting venue on speed merchants alone!
Absolutely Karting needed to work out a way to widen their offering in order to attract stag and hen parties, kids parties, groups on nights out, and corporate events. These larger groups meant more people on the track at a time and so an increase in profit margins as well as the opportunity to sell hospitality packages.
So! In Spring 2019, Pounce, our marketing innovation workshop developed the Glow Karting concept and sourced a supplier to quote for the fit out. By Autumn, Glow Karting had been launched in Maidenhead!
The Science Behind The Glow
We, as humans, have the tendency to notice and remember what is distinctive. These observations are made because we quickly become immune to familiar patterns, meaning we are hardwired to notice when such patterns are broken.
For consumers, this means that, when feeling overwhelmed with options (i.e. choice paralysis), they will often use shortcuts, such as distinctiveness, to help make a decision. This phenomenon is called the Von Restorff Effect, and can be leveraged by a brand in order to stand out from convention and offer something original and unique.
Time for a “Glow Up”!
And that's where Glow Karting came in! Glow Karting was unique to the UK, standing out from the rest of the “go karting sameness”. This initiative turned an experience that was previously only for those interested in racing, into an experience for anyone looking for a light-hearted, fun time.
As well as being distinctive, Glow Karting also played on the current trend for 80s nostalgia. Nostalgia is nearly always linked to positive, personal associations so was especially relevant to people in their 40/50s.
The pilot for Glow Karting was rolled out at their Maidenhead track first, and as you will see, it was a resounding success. Our Marketing Director, Aaron Wells, and Marketing Senior Account Manager, Amy Marsh, both speak from experience when they say they had a great time whizzing round the Maidenhead circuit, and that the Glow Karting aspect added a whole new level of excitement.
Impacts from Instinct into Action
So what were the results from this innovative concept?
Absolutely Leisure saw a 61% uptake within three months of launch; £8k worth of additional revenue for February, which meant Maidenhead surpassed its revenue target; plus a 5:1 ROAS Return on ad spend.
What does this mean for the present day? It means, 71% of revenue is now accountable to Glow Karting.
A Glowing Success
From the initial idea through to interior theming, developing the visual identity and running a digital marketing campaign, Big Cat Agency played a decisive role in enabling Absolutely Karting to develop from being just another go karting offering into a fully immersive karting experience that was completely unique within the UK.
As you can see from the figures, Glow Karting's popularity was undeniable, and helped Absolutely Karting to attract families and groups seeking a brand new, original and quirky activity.
Interested in reading more about digital marketing campaigns we have delivered? Visit our case studies page.