Q. What has been your most successful advertising campaign?
Alyssa Antolick, The Heritage Guild, Easton, Pa.
A. It was coincidental that at about the same time I sat down to write this we at The Heritage Guild were in the midst of our most successful advertising campaign to date. What was that campaign? It was our 1st Annual Women’s Night out on the Range! The goal of this event was to create a fun and safe environment to introduce new female shooters to the world of shooting sports.
We understand that venturing into the world of shooting sports, and even just into our facilities, can be intimidating to some women. We decided to “relax” our approach to advertising for this event, in relation to events of the past, and place more focus on making the ad pieces more sociable. In order to do so we implemented several strategies for our print, web, social media and radio advertising.
Our print campaign began a month prior to the event day with circulation of an in-house flier that listed the details of the event as well as the activities for the night. In addition to our three facilities distributing the fliers, members of our staff began issuing these fliers to local businesses and family/friends who they thought might be interested in attending. We decided to change our standard visual appeal of this print ad by using brighter, more vibrant colors rather than our typical red-and-black branded colors. We also used photos of wine and cheese, chocolates, beauty products, etc., in addition to the usual photos of firearms and our ranges.
Social media, primarily Facebook, was our most effective method of promoting this event. This is evidenced by the fact that on the day of our Women’s Night Out our Facebook post had been “shared” more than 100 times, almost tripling any other post we had done in the past. The excitement and buzz had been created: husbands were tagging their wives, women were tagging their friends and right before our eyes groups of people were forming to attend our event. Partnered with Facebook we also utilized Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube as avenues for publicizing this event at The Heritage Guild.
The last piece of our advertising puzzle was our radio spots. We ran them on several of the popular local radio stations. The commercial highlighted the details of the event including date/time, what would be provided to each participant and the numerous activities of the night. One small modification to this radio commercial, in regard to previous scripts, was the use of a woman’s voice rather than a male’s. This minor change helped to create a more relaxed, inviting radio piece, thus welcoming and encouraging women to attend this event.
We are pleased to report that for this first-time, two-hour event we had more than 250 women participate, approximately 80 percent of whom were new to the shooting sports. The Heritage Guild currently offers Ladies Night every Tuesday night. It includes our women-only handgun course as well as ladies receiving discounted range time and rentals. Offering a Women’s Night on the Range annually will surely be beneficial. From our most successful ad campaign to date we gained a loyal following of new women shooters to this exciting sport!
Ariana Hix, The Range 702, Las Vegas, Nev.
A. Our most successful advertising campaign started with the launch of the Unforgettable Events in our VIP Suite. The VIP Suite sets us above and beyond all other competitors in the Las Vegas area. The Unforgettable Events offer three different Executive Packages at different price levels. They include shooting our most popular firearms, from handguns to fully automatic machineguns, including the belt-fed machine guns. Guests experience everything the main range has to offer, but they are in their very own private range. Guests also have the exclusivity of a private entrance as well as their own Range Safety Officer who will go over the fundamentals of each firearm. They will have a Host to provide them with a cold beverage and to ensure everything runs smoothly and guests have everything they need. We also provide a wide variety of catering options. The VIP suite also boasts three flat-screen TVs to keep the guests entertained, informed and relaxed. A state-of-the-art sound system lounge and a full-size pool table complete the entertainment package. These packages have led to corporate events, scavenger hunts, competitions, team building, safety classes and a hideaway for celebrities. Meeting planners are always looking for something new and exciting, and our venue is just that. The popularity of the VIP Suite has brought us to our next step in event planning, weddings.
The Unforgettable Events was such a great campaign because the VIP Suite has so much to offer. Placement was key to the success of the campaign. We launched it in the NSSF Shot Business magazine and sent promotional material to all the local destination-management companies in the area. It was promoted “on the road” at the International Pow Wow in Chicago in April, which is the travel industry’s giant international trade show and marketplace. As a result, The Range 702 has benefitted from substantially increased group sales.