Thousands of people unleashed their inner Bridezillas, both in New York City and online through social media, as part of WE tv’s marketing campaign that included a pop-up museum in Times Square to promote the reboot of the reality TV show after a five-year hiatus.
The Bridezillas Museum of Natural Hysteria launched from February 23 to March 4, with 3,000 square feet of street-level retail space featuring 14 distinct photo-worthy exhibits and experiences designed to generate social buzz around the show’s March 2 premiere.
The museum was designed to “lightheartedly honor and engage people directly with the character of “the bridezilla.” With a budget of $450,000, the marketing concept was to make the overall campaign into an experience that was as outrageous, disruptive and over-the-top as the series itself.
With that in mind, WE tv sent “Bridezillas Cosplay Brides” into Times Square and in more than 200 New York City hotels, to act “cray-cray” while distributing brochures. And the network secured a partnership with Grayline Tours to have brochures placed at the company’s Times Square ticket office, and have guides promote the Bridezillas Museum on bus tours.
The day before the public opening, WE tv launched two press events to create advance interest on social platforms. The first was a morning ribbon cutting with The Bachelorette stars Trista Sutter, Deanna Pappas, Desiree Hartsock and Ashley Herbert. Then, a party that evening drew a crowd of more than 400, including Bridezillas’ Porsha Holt and Remy Maaddi and Bravo’s Real Housewives Teresa Giudice, Danielle Staub, Margaret Josephs, Sonja Morgan, Ramona Singer and Kelly Bensimon.
Overall, the campaign successfully spurred in a 178 percent increase across all the network’s social platforms, with 60 percent of content coming from Instagram, and 30 percent from Twitter—and only 5 percent of the comments deemed negative, according to WE tv. One of the more popular posts was the “virtual tour” of the museum that ran across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The press events generated coverage from both local and national entertainment and business outlets such as People Magazine, E! Online, Adweek’s Agency Spy, and Campaigns USA, and led to more than 800 media impressions, representing a $10 million ad dollar value, WE tv said in an email.
More than 10,000 visitors also flocked to see in person the free, experiential marketing activations. Attendance was split 60/40 percent between tourists and locals, and people spent an average of 15 minutes exploring the museum.
The gallery was jam packed with “kitschy exhibits and interactive experiences celebrating centuries of outrageous bridal behavior.”
They included an animatronic Dino-Bridezilla at the entrance, and “PreHysterical Bridezillas” in a gallery of portraits and tongue-in-cheek trivia about demanding brides of the past such as Cleopatra.
The “Wedding DisBelieve It or Knot” exhibit paid homage to eyesore wedding invitations and manicures, odd moments like vows being exchanged in a shark tank, and a display featuring three of “The Worst Bridesmaid Dresses in the World.”
A corridor gallery highlighted fake ads for “Bridezillas Products That Don’t Exist but Probably Should,” such as “The Mother-In-Law Muzzle” and the “Bridal Party Shock Collar!”
Visitors also got to scream, punch and pose like a true Bridezilla by slipping on a boxing glove to get a digital reading of their wedding stress with the swing of their fist, and entering “The Tantrum Tank”—a soundproof booth where they could record their rampage and share it socially.
Photo ops included The Bazillion Dollar Bling Bath, where museum-goers could take a picture while relaxing in a fancy bathtub overflowing with faux diamonds and When Bridezillas Attack, where visitors struck a pose “crushed” beneath the white pump of a giant bridezilla, on a blood red carpet.
Cataldi Public Relations
Marc Juris, President
Rosie Pisani, EVP, Marketing
Mark Neschis, SVP Public Relations
Andrea Macey, VP Digital
Nakia Clements, VP Marketing
Dina Anchelowitz, Director, Creative Production