Digital Marketing:

SEA LIFE creates a splash with Facebook



It’s always going to be an interesting challenge when Europe’s largest entertainments company asks you if you can overhaul their Facebook strategy.


As background, Merlin Entertainments, Midway Attractions had been running Facebook campaigns for their 12 SEA LIFE attractions across the UK and Ireland through their longstanding media agency and via the teams on site at each attraction.

But they couldn’t get it to work to acceptable performance levels. Whilst Merlin had some appreciation of the benefits of the channel, it was not performing to expectations and they needed a better strategy to help deliver the business objectives.


In response to the brief we developed a strategy that focused on six key themes;

  1. Understanding the target customer, their socio demographic profile and booking behaviour
  2. Understanding the target customer, their socio demographic profile and booking behaviour
  3. Implementing a comprehensive tracking and reporting capability so that all campaigns and associated user interactions and could be tracked, measured and analysed
  4. The use of additional data sources (eg weather data, Mosaic profile data) to further increase performance
  5. Extensive optimisation and creative adjustments based on results
  6. Being prepared, ready and willing to react to changing attraction trading patterns


It’s hard to measure the amount of treasured family days out, interactions with exhibits or children’s smiles with this type of digital activity.

But what can be measured is impressive. With such a high impact and tailored creative strategy across the 100+ customer segments, it was not surprising that the creative resonated with the target audience.

There were over 185,000 advert engagements by the audience leading to an impressive 15.4% of the audience engaging with the adverts for the most successful creative treatments.

The combined post click and post impression ROI was 8.2 and the ROI topped over 30 for the best performing trading period.

These results would look good in a direct channel such as PPC, but the fact that this performance was delivered using a paid social advertising channel shows that with good planning and execution that exceptional direct response performance can be achieved as well as raising awareness and driving engagement.


Audiences Segments

Ad Engagements


The team at Strange has delivered an excellent Facebook advertising strategy for Merlin Entertainments, Midway Attractions. They’ve worked hard to improve performance and deliver on our objectives and in the process, they have become a valued part of our extended team.

The insight they’ve shared is valuable and it has helped us better understand our customers. And with 12 SEA LIFE attractions, the operational task is quite weighty too. Strange took on the challenge with ease and we’ve had excellent feedback from the attraction teams.

We’re delighted with the activity and look forward to another year of success with Strange, using their proven approach to expand into new channels.

Cheska Bennett
Head of Marketing, Merlin Entertainments, Midway Attractions

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