The only themed restaurant chain based on a major motion picture, Forrest Gump (1994), the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. approached Paradise to launch its first location in the Tampa Bay area. With the Madeira Beach location at John’s Pass serving as the largest Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. location worldwide, the challenge was to deliver a robust grand opening public relations campaign splash to create, deliver and sustain customer awareness and restaurant traffic.
Paradise developed a fully integrated public relations and communications plan for the restaurant’s grand opening. The plan targeted local print, broadcast and online media outlets. The team arranged dozens of pre-during-post opening interviews, multiple on-air appearances, the creation and distribution of edible press kits, and pitched customized business angles. The PR team also identified and maximized other media exposure as new, unplanned opportunities arose, such as Forrest Gump costumed groups and look-alike appearances.
The public relations launch campaign delivered more than $100,000 in earned local and regional media coverage for an ROI of 667%. The restaurant received rave reviews and attracted 700+ dignitaries to its VIP launch event. According to the Bubba Gump corporate team, the only Grand Opening with more attendance and success was at the Times Square location in New York City. For a location in a small beachside destination, this was quite a success given that the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has 39 locations in major cities and tourism areas around the world.