CategoryA05. Best Launch or Re-Launch


Name Company Position
Alex Lanceley Fleishman-Hillard SVP and Partner
Kitty Lee Fleishman-Hillard Account Director
Virginia Lo Fleishman-Hillard Senior Account Executive
Janis Lam Fleishman-Hillard Account Executive
Rachel Catanach Fleishman-Hillard MD, SVP and Senior Partner

The Campaign

Macau’s integrated resort City of Dreams planned to launch the world’s largest water-based show, The House of Dancing Water (THODW), which would set a new standard of entertainment for City of Dreams, Macau, Asia and the world. City of Dreams implemented a two-year integrated communication campaign to create word-of-mouth from pre-launch to post-launch period, to make THODW popular, draw visitors to the City of Dreams, and ultimately drive revenue of other business units including gaming, hotel and F&B. The campaign’s strategy was to position THODW as the “must do” experience in Macau. This was executed by leveraging media to build anticipation and awareness of the show’s unique properties by educating the public about the Show, the Theater and the People. Media events, media FAM tours and interviews were arranged throughout the campaign period. The campaign successfully boosted sales and the first weekend’s tickets were sold out two weeks before the official launch of THODW; and it welcomed its 100,000th spectator in its second month of operation.

The Brief

The goals of the campaign were to create word-of-mouth for THODW, to excite people about the unique aspects of the experience, draw visitors to City of Dreams, and drive revenue for other business units including gaming and hotel. The target audiences are between 18 and 55, who travel to Macau, locally and regionally, with family, friends or with spouse. New audiences include first-time attendees at circus art shows and audiences who are seeking compelling destination travel. Media audits were conducted in key APAC markets to understand their perception of Macau as a travel destination and their interest in entertainment shows.


The communication campaign has successfully raised public awareness and interest in THODW. All tickets in the 2000-seat theater for first weekend’s shows were sold out two weeks before its grand opening. 260 representatives of 179 media outlets from 8 APAC markets attended the Grand Opening Event of THODW, generating 360 clippings with an estimated value of over USD2,700,000 The overall campaign from pre-launch to post-launch generated coverage with an estimated value of over USD10,000,000.


Pre-launch period: - The creative process: two-day FAM trip to THODW’s rehearsal studio in Belgium, giving media an exclusive glimpse of Franco Dragone’s creative process - The amazing Theater: Announcement of show’s name and reveal of some of the Theater’s spectacular technical aspects - The Backstage story: hard hat tour showing the Theater in action, including the amazing high dive platform and staging - COD’s vision: THODW’s opening date announced at COD’s first anniversary - The Voice: Asia superstar Sammi Cheng was announced as The Voice of THODW at a show preview - The people who made it happen: interviews with the theater architect, the main cast, Sammi Cheng and Franco Dragone Launch: - Front row seats: September 2010: Launch press conference for 300+ media followed by a preview of the show in full .glory

The Situation

Macau was facing a big challenge. Zaia, the only large entertainment show in Macau, had experienced a drop in audience numbers and was rumoured to be of closure. There was skepticism that the Cotai Strip could cope with another show. In addition, Franco Dragone’s creative process meant that there were few tangible assets to use prior to the launch. No photos, no costumes, theater in construction and cast in training in Belgium, plus low awareness of Franco Dragone in Asia. PR communication was necessary to create the story behind the show and to support the whole marketing campaign.

The Strategy

The communication strategy was to build anticipation for THODW and get people talking about the show in different markets and different media segments during the pre-launch period; to build climax and maximize communication during the soft and official launch; and to maintain momentum after the official launch. The agency created the following strategies: • Engage an array of the media advocates for word of mouth – from news, entertainment/lifestyle; travel trade through to online influencers • Make use of the three elements of the show to create media buzz at different stage – The Show, The Theater, The People. Detailed story lines were developed for each element. • Highlight the success of Franco Dragone Entertainment Group in Las Vegas to earn credibility and reputation for leisure stories • Position City of Dreams as an aggregator to lead Macau and Asia for world-class entertainment hub for business stories