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WATCH: Marketing Behind Bars at Crumlin Road Gaol

ProfileTree have recently announced the completion of a successful video production and marketing project for Crumlin Road Gaol. Opened to the general public in November 2012, the site of the former Victorian prison has emerged as one of the country’s top tourist attractions, winning Tourism Heritage Property of the Year at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards 2017.

For the team at Crumlin Road Gaol, picking up the prestigious award was a realisation of years of hard work and dedication. Recognised for providing “an increased offering for community, education and business use whilst also being a tourist attraction”, the Gaol has expanded its operations far beyond its tours; now offering its spaces for music, corporate, community and conferencing functions. A truly multi-purpose destination, the 5-star-accredited attraction has been widely recognised for contributing to Northern Ireland’s burgeoning tourism sector which saw 5 million overnight trips in 2018.

Part of the success behind Crumlin Road Gaol can be attributed to the wise investment decisions of its owners, who have transformed the abandoned penitentiary into a large complex of meeting, conferencing and workshop spaces; as well as spaces for weddings, conventions and other ceremonies. Top-class catering facilities, team-building spaces, WiFi and dedicated events managers have transformed the visitor experience at ‘The Crum’, in what is now a far cry from the experiences of the many thousands of prisoners who spent time in the Gaol during its 150 years in operation.

With such a historic site transformed into a winning attraction, Crumlin Road Gaol was positioned to achieve ultimate success in the Northern Irish tourism market. However, familiar obstacles continued to face the attraction. Leaders behind the Gaol were left with the challenge of advertising and marketing a huge, multi-faceted facility. Marketing such a huge attraction required high-quality video and photography production to highlight the site’s key locations and discussion points.

Following consultations with ProfileTree, Crumlin Road Gaol worked with the agency to devise a video marketing strategy engineered for increased web traffic and visitor numbers. To this end, it was quickly recognised that a series of promotional and tour videos would add a significant boost to the success of the site. The agency dispatched a team of videographers and video editors to the site, who undertook a comprehensive video and photography shoot across the Gaol.

As part of this process, videographers captured high-resolution, panoramic shots of key sites across the former prison. Included in these shots were footage recorded across the former Loyalist and Republican wings, home to several notable prisoners during the 30-year conflict known as ‘The Troubles’. A short trailer of the tour was also planned and recorded, along with shot across Cuffs Bar and Grill – the prison’s aptly-named restaurant, based in the prison’s former kitchens.

Aside from these aspects of the project, videographers were dispatched to the nearby Peace Walls, where drones were used to record flyover shots across the distance of the iconic wall. According to agency videographer Brendan McKillop, the Peace Walls represented “an iconic location, deeply wedded to the conflict in Northern Ireland and inseparable from the legacy of the former prison”.

At each stage of this project, videographers and editors placed a strong focus on matching the video production with appropriate and contextual audio. To this end, ProfileTree contributed high-quality audio and music tracks to the video, enhancing its appeal and greatly contributing to the overall tone of the campaign. Equal focus was also placed on supplementing video production with artistic photography, with high-resolution shots captured at every key and unforgettable site in the prison. Speaking following the completion of the project, ProfileTree stated that this formed an essential step in creating “a true digital showcase for the tours and services offered at Crumlin Road Gaol.”

Speaking following the completion of the project, ProfileTree founder and CEO, Ciaran Connolly, praised the power of content marketing in the tourism marketing sector: “In our project with Crumlin Road Gaol, we were delighted to work with such an established and historic site in Northern Ireland’s excellent tourism offering. As is the case with businesses across every sector, content marketing and video production has again demonstrated itself as an absolute essential in the digital marketplace. We wish Crumlin Road all the very best and look forward to working with them into the future.”

Melissa Walls, Marketing and Events Executive at Crumlin Road Gaol praised the work of ProfileTree: “ProfileTree’s enthusiasm for creating powerful content is evident in the several projects they have completed for us. I really appreciate their attention to detail, flexibility and creative approach to bringing our attractions to life online.”

ProfileTree are an award-winning content marketing agency based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. To discover what the power of content can do for your business, get in touch today.