The Challenger Learning Center of Tallahassee, Florida, launched Superpower Dogs
on March 15, 2019. Recognizing the intensity of the dog-human bond, the marketing team chose a strategy of highlighting these powerful relationships.
Challenger Learning Center (CLC) began by identifying partners they could work with, including Visit Tallahassee, the local Destination Marketing Organization; Superpower Dogs
stars ‘Cat’ Labrada and K9 Halo; and official Superpower Dogs ambassadors Molly the Fire Safety Dog and retired firefighter Dayna Hilton.
Challenger partnered with local police and fire departments, the Tallahassee Animal Shelter, and more than 25 businesses, including Banfield Animal Hospitals, to display posters and distribute rack cards.
CLC also made connections with local tour operators to raise awareness of the movie and how it might benefit the operators to bring their customers to the IMAX theatre to see Superpower Dogs
. By reaching out to local media organizations, Challenger was able to secure two television interviews about the movie.
In addition, Challenger Learning Center identified local “superpower dogs,” including the staff’s own dogs, and brought them out to special events at the theatre to interact with movie-goers.
Integrating Superpower Dogs
into the programming of Challenger Learning Center was an important goal. Grades K-5 Day Camps were created with the theme of “Superpower Dogs,” as were learning labs for Grades K-12, in addition to other educational programming.
Challenger Learning Center collaborated with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s Animal Therapy Program for an “Animals Are Heroes” day camp. The hospital’s animal therapy teams visited these programs to teach campers about the incredible benefits of the bonds between animals and humans. The animal therapy teams also came to a sensory-friendly screening of Superpower Dogs
to help promote the Hang Tough Foundation, an organization that offers resources and encouragement to families who are dealing with childhood injuries, illnesses, and special needs.
With an overall launch budget of $8000, advertising methods included targeted TV and digital commercials, digital billboards, ad placements through the Council of Culture and Arts, the Fun 4 Tally Kids website, social media ads, and more.
Marketing collateral to support these channels included a webpage, rack cards, vinyl wraps on downtown Tallahassee elevators, a poster and digital signage campaign, and educator outreach.
A comprehensive social media campaign was also launched, and a “behind-the-scenes” album was created on the COCA webpage.
Challenger Learning Center hired professional artist Kollet Nichole Probst, owner of Kollet Originals, to paint the outer windows of CLC with Superpower Dogs
Visits by Halo and Cat and Molly and Dayna also served to generate interest in the movie and excite visitors with television appearances, meet-and-greet opportunities, and the option of having your photos taken with the stars.
The launch of the film exceeded all expectations and generated more visitors and revenue than forecast. The most successful part of the campaign was the community engagement portions, as evidenced by the overwhelming feedback shared by visitors. Not only were the impacts felt at the box office, but also in the way in which the film helped to change lives—one staff member’s dog has begun training to become a therapy dog with the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital’s Animal Therapy Program.
Thanks to Ryan Holota, Saskatchewan Science Centre and member of the GSCA Member Services Committee, for summarizing Challenger Learning Center's marketing campaign.