The Holmes Report
July 9, 2002
“…many years as a blight on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Underwater World set out to develop a new identity and to renew public interest by completely renovating the interior space and developing new interactive and revolving exhibits. The owners called in Singer Associates late in 2000 to help re-brand, re-name, and rebuild the reputation of the attraction. Singer Associates was retained to help change minds about the Wharf’s much-maligned aquarium.
The objective was to get key influencers “and ultimately the tourists they influenced” to take a second look [at the aquarium]. With a re-launch scheduled for mid-summer, Singer Associates set out to change minds. The PR strategy was simple: Start local and work out from there. Singer Associates planned three key events for mid-summer 2001 designed to change hearts and minds. First, an Appreciation Day was held for Fisherman’s Wharf workers’ whether parking valets or business owners. The aquarium was put on display for all its neighbors to see, and follow-up interviews indicated that they liked what they saw. Second, concierges, cab drivers, hotel workers, Grey Line Tour bus drivers, travel agents, and restaurant workers were provided with information and free tickets as part of a promotional campaign to encourage them to visit and then talk about what they saw. Again, follow-up interviews indicated a very positive reaction. Third, a grand opening gala event was held for VIPs, politicians, teachers, local news media and “friends of the aquarium.”
The aquarium owners are convinced that their operation will emerge stronger than ever from the events of the last two months due largely to the repositioning and brand development work of Singer Associates.”