high profile media coverage

Securing High Profile Business Related Media Coverage for Prominent Water Feature at EXPO 2020 Dubai

The Client 

WET (Water Entertainment Technologies), the world’s leader in water entertainment design and technology, was about to unveil their latest creation, a water feature the size of a football field which was to be one of the crowning glory attractions at Expo Dubai, the World’s Fair in 2021.  

WET’s innovative team of 200 has created over 260 public installations, notably including The Fountains of Bellagio, The Dubai Fountain, The Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center, The Fountains of Wynn Palace in Macau, Aquanura in the Netherlands, and the Olympic Fountains in Salt Lake City and Sochi, Russia. The firm holds more than 50 patents and has pioneered most of what the public experiences today in water features, from pool-less plaza foundations to leaping laminars, from choreographed water performers to fountains of pure fire. 

Project Description 

WET’s newest feature, the EXPO 2020 Dubai Water Feature, “Surreal,” was unveiled on Friday, October 1, 2021 at EXPO 2020 Dubai.  Similar to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the event is titled for 2020 despite it being 2021. The feature, situated between Al Wasl Plaza and Jubilee Park, the EXPO 2020 Dubai Water Feature combines the elements of water, earth and fire in a way that both surprise and delight the senses.  

Visitors coming from Al Wasl Plaza enter a verdant 40-metre-wide garden of towering palms and fragrant plants rising above a series of curving paths that encircle the central water feature like ripples in a pond. Large planted walls rise up around the feature, with three openings to a central area that takes visitors below ground level.  

The 153 individual waves range from glistening sheets to bursts of water that literally leap from the walls as they make their dramatic descent to the plaza below. People are invited to walk to the base of the falls to see how the water disappears through the stone. At night the waves reverse themselves – producing a gravity-defying spectacle as they flow up the walls. At the feature’s center is a mysterious circle of fire that produces enormous bursts of flames in spectral hues of red, green and yellow. In keeping with Expo 2020’s theme of sustainability, these huge flames are of pure hydrogen and therefore produce no carbon.  

Each surge of water is released on a musical cue, creating an orchestral masterpiece performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The original score was written by the award-winning composer Ramin Djawadi, whose work includes the theme music for the HBO series Game of Thrones, which earned him Grammy Award nominations in 2009, 2018 and 2020. 

The Challenge 

The Hoyt Organization had only 3 1/2 weeks to secure WET’s spokesperson, Mark Fuller, Co-Founder and CEO (Chief Excellence Office) high-visibility, national press telling his story as the genius behind WET’s incredible water features. To accomplish this, THO leaned into key national and international press that offered Executive Profile opportunities for Mark, that reached both an affluent consumer as well as the large-scale developer stakeholders. 

THO also designed and implemented a social media strategy that 1) highlighted the emotions visitors would feel when they visited the attraction, thus using words such as  

The Solution 

THO created a domestic and international public relations campaign that focused on the innovation of the new water feature that was premiering at the EXPO 2020 Dubai which opened for global dignitaries on September 30 and to the general public on October 1. Because all materials need to be vetted and approved by the Expo team, which was unable to approve any vendor materials, THO pivoted the program to ensure success with the coverage. This included executing a specifically designed media relations strategy along with an intense social media campaign—that focused on the emotion the water feature evoked from those visiting the site; all of this was supplemented with an influencer campaign to push the visuals into the consumer market.  

Results 

The results were astounding. THO secured 34 media placements which resulted in 8.78M estimated views, 4.42B audience reach and 2.1M YouTube viewership. Tier one media coverage included an on-site video interview between the Associated Press and Mark Fuller. The Associated Press video was published online and syndicated across national media outlets that include USA Today, Yahoo News and MSN News. THO also secured an on-site video interview with Gulf News, a daily English language newspaper published from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  

In addition, follow up media requests included the scheduling of a documentary with the BBC, and a feature on Mark specifically on the cover of Regard, a lifestyle publication based in the United States.  

Social media posts from our influencer partnerships for Surreal’s launch resulted in a total of 23,679 accounts reached, 25,348 impressions, 5,210 likes, 512 comments, 207 shares and 689 shares.  

Earned Media Coverage Metrics: 

34 Total Placements 

8.78M Estimated Views 

4.42B Audience Reach 

2.1M YouTube Viewership 

Social media posts from our influencer partnerships for Surreal’s launch resulted in a total of: 

23,679 Accounts Reached 

25,348 Impressions 

5,210 Likes 

512 Comments 

207 Shares 

689 Shares 

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