Case study: Group Incentive

BMW UK – Costa Rica

  • Sector Automotive
  • Destination Costa Rica
  • Attendees 60
  • Date February
Jungle Canopy Walkway in Costa Rica

What did the client want?

Having worked with the key stakeholder for many years, we know what works: what attracts the adrenaline-thirsty audience of BMW’s Sales Managers, which settings suit and how to create something that knocks the brief out of the park. The Ultimate Adventure Club is the jewel in the crown for top-performing retailers year after year, we needed a solution that took things to the next level. Meeting expectations was never going to be enough; we had to exceed them every step of the way to make sure the 160-retailer strong workforce flew past their target. The goal was to create an unforgettable itinerary to somewhere high profile and exclusive, with wow factor… the next big incentive destination. 

“This was the fifth incentive in a row that Black Tomato have managed for me and yet again they have done a superb job. Having set out in the brief that I wanted to find ‘the next big incentive venue’ the team came up with Costa Rica. From start to finish no stone was left unturned to provide a really stunning incentive.”

National Sales Manager

How did we inform and engage the audience?

To kick off the campaign we adapted the Ultimate Adventure Club logo to subtly reflect the jungles of Costa Rica and put it into action by drip-feeding qualification information to the retailer network about the new challenge, through personalised eshots linking to an online event countdown. 

With excitement high and the network intrigued, the full destination reveal took shape. Pocket-sized video books were delivered to each of the retailers simultaneously, landing on desks ready to motivate staff and drive sales. The 90-second launch video highlighted the adrenaline-fuelled trip in store for 60 winners and connected to what was now a full-service event website. 

The retailers who ended the year at the top of the hard-fought dealer leagues were rewarded with a coveted ticket to Costa Rica and personalised travel packs, each celebrating their membership of the Ultimate Adventure Club.  

Flat Lay of Ultimate Adventure Club Comms Teaser Gifts
Abseiling Down a Waterfall in Costa Rica

What made it stand out?

With four up-and-coming destinations in the mix, Costa Rica quickly emerged as the clear favourite as somewhere few of the Sales Managers had visited, with plenty of the requisite adventure and memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences. With the destination decided, we set about creating an itinerary to not only equal the high bars set by previous years’ iterations but exceed them in every way. 

Full details of the action-packed itinerary were held back from guests and revealed on-site with daily room drops and surprise touches; with everything from personalised sunglasses to trekking tools hinting at what the day had in store. We even sent personal gifts to winners’ partners at home while the event was in full flow, creating a sense of involvement on both sides of the Atlantic. 

The programme got underway with the group venturing to a secret retreat within the forest for an adrenaline-fuelled day of canyoning, zip-lining and abseiling – with a couple of (non-lethal) scorpion stings and snake bites thrown in for a fantastic story to regale colleagues back at the office. From the rainforest to the river, guests took on the best Mother Nature could throw at them in a white-knuckle tubing experience, all before kicking back for a tranquil waterfall lunch with masseuses on hand to take care of aches and pains. 

The relaxed post-massage vibes continued as guests boarded a luxurious catamaran for a hotel transfer with a difference, stopping off at a private island en route. They jumped from the boat to the beach to be greeted by a local band and a gourmet lunch on their branded hideaway, before a beach volleyball match against a local team that surprised guests by arriving decked out in branded kit. After their Top Gun experience, the voyage continued to Andaz Peninsula Papagayo, one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. 

We turned things up a notch the following day, with several helicopters whisking guests to the rainforest for a day of rafting. Flying in over miles of untouched rainforest and towering volcanoes for a true bucket-list experience. Guests embarked on an exhilarating three-hour whitewater rafting expedition that saw them conquer wild, frothing rapids before a breather and some time to come to terms with a four-metre drop that lay ahead. Driven on by empty stomachs and the enticing smells of a barbecue lunch, the adrenaline-charged adventurers successfully negotiated the drop before the choppers returned everyone safely back to the hotel.

On top of all the action, the whole programme was highlighted with endless branded touches, all designed to recognise the winners’ year of remarkable achievements. With a professional photographer following every move, memories of the trip were immortalised on the event website and in a keepsake coffee table photo album which was sent to retailers across the country to delight returning champions and motivate next year’s contenders. 

BMW Ultimate Adventure Club Post-Trip Photobook
Whitewater rafting on a river in Costa Rica

How did the event add value?

The Ultimate Adventure Club certainly lived up to its name this year by building on the success of our previous incentives with the client, incentivising 48% of those who’d won a place the previous year to go above and beyond once again to secure their spot. Tales of the previous trips were shared with the network and inspired 52% to join this illustrious club for the first time.  

Guests testing their own limits against snakes, scorpions and the sun, only contributed to the positive team spirit of the intrepid guests. All the attendees returned home giving stellar feedback, highly motivated and full of tales of adventure – a winning result if you ask us.  

“From the planning to delivery, every little part of the programme was delivered with pure excellence, even when things didn’t quite go to plan! What was also nice were all of the little surprises that BT built into the programme to keep everyone (even me!) wondering what was coming next!” 

National Sales Manager

The numbers

  • th

    Consecutive trip with Black Tomato Agency

  • %

    Sales targets achieved

  • %

    Average over-performance by winners

  • %

    National increase in sales

  • %

    Positive feedback from attendees

  • C&IT Awards Special Commendation 2016

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