Success Story

Award-winning Digital Out Of Home solution for Alton Towers

Award-winning digital visual communications system boosting visitor experience

Adare International recently helped Alton Towers boost visitor experience via ground-breaking, resort-wide digital visual communications technology.  The project earned us a Gold Medal at the recent POPAI Awards. These prestigious awards celebrate ‘creativity innovation and excellence’ across the UK retail marketing industry.

A new approach to resort-wide communications

One of the biggest challenges facing top theme parks and other major attractions is optimising and managing visitor traffic flows especially at peak times.

Alton Towers therefore tasked us with developing a completely new approach to resort-wide communications. The primary focus has been on ensuring guests receive accurate, relevant information when and where they need it during their visit. The ultimate objective is to help guests make better, more informed decisions throughout the course of their visit. This then feeds directly through to their overall park experience. 

An enhanced visitor experience AND major operational benefits

We responded by developing and implementing an innovative digital signage platform using an array of digital visual communications technology. This includes positioning display screens at the ticket office and welcome areas and deploying custom-made totems – incorporating audio and touch-screen functionality – at strategically-placed locations throughout the park.

One function of the system is to monitor the length of queues throughout the resort. Accurate real-time information is then relayed to guests at key decision-making locations around the park, alongside promotional content about rides that are less busy. In doing so, the system is constantly recalibrating demand throughout the park. As a result, guests are able to make the most of their time on site.

“This is a terrific example of well-thought-through technological innovation delivering a step-change in customer experience and their recent POPAI Gold Award was very well deserved” says Richard Shepherd, Customer Engagement Manager at Alton Towers. “There is clear potential for Merlin to introduce this system at other Merlin attractions and for this innovative digital visual communications technology to become a central feature of the group’s guest experience and engagement strategy.”

In addition to the direct benefits to on-site guest experience, the cloud-based CMS platform enables Alton Towers’ operations and marketing teams to update visitor messaging remotely, in real time, via mobile, tablet or desktop. These flexible digital assets are fully integrated with social media and support a range of KPIs, including up-sells, cross-sells and repeat visits.

‘Eyes around the park’

Another advantage of the new system from a marketing perspective is its ‘eyes around the park’ functionality, achieved by incorporating cameras within the totems. This allows Alton Towers to gather invaluable demographic insights on guests’ age, gender, looks-to-screen, length of views, and numerous other actionable metrics.

“The new digital visual communications technology has been so successful at Alton Towers, that we’re already in talks with Merlin to roll the system out across its 110 worldwide attractions”, says Barry McPhillips – Multichannel Solutions Director at Purple. “One of our key considerations in developing the system has been to ensure that it is a scalable, future-proof solution which can easily be adapted to reflect new guest demands and behaviours.”

“It’s really exciting that other Merlin Group businesses can now benefit from tried-and-tested, award-winning technology with a proven impact on visitor satisfaction. What’s more, they can utilise our existing CMS, so it couldn’t be easier for them to get on board.”

We have supported Alton Towers through every stage of the project – from initial concepts, strategy and planning through to installation of the technology, content creation, detailed marketing messaging and post-implementation technical support.

Final judgement

The agencies work for Alton Towers landed a Gold Medal at the POPAI Awards in September 2015. This is what the judges had to say:

“A truly impressive answer to a retail communications brief that delivered on its objectives, and more. Overall, a simple unit design with great content and interactivity that has clearly been designed with users’ needs in mind. Outstanding performance makes this unit a deserving winner.”

To find out more about Adare International’s award-winning digital visual communications solutions, please contact

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