April 7, 2020

Sherrie and Terry on the Ferry: Stena Line Christmas Campaign


Stena Line are one the world’s largest ferry operators, providing international transport services, specialising in both freight and passenger travel.

The challenge

8 Million Stories were approached to help Stena Line promote travel within the UK over the Christmas period with a low-cost festive campaign that worked across their social platforms and onboard.

Throughout December, Stena Line see an influx of passengers travelling home to see family for Christmas. Marketing to this audience throughout November is key to keep ferry travel front of mind as low cost airlines are often the transport of choice. There are many benefits of travelling via ferry, including no luggage restrictions, the ability to take the car, and private cabins, not to mention the multiple cafes, cinema, spa, and children’s play area. Stena Line wanted us to promote the key features of ferry travel with a seasonal, fun campaign that would resonate with families on their key social channels.

The strategy

Taking inspiration from the internationally recognised Christmas photo challenge Elf on the Shelf, we created Sherrie and Terry on the Ferry – two lovable elf characters from Scotland on their way home to see family in Northern Ireland.

The campaign involved 8 Million Stories going onboard the ship to photograph the elves in different areas of the ferry on their way home for Christmas. These images showcased different areas of the ferry including private cabins, the spa area, the cinema, and the Stena Plus lounge. We also used numerous props including baggage to show just how much luggage passengers can carry onboard.

In total, the campaign included nine social posts, consisting of three videos and six static images.

In addition to this, we created a competition on social media offering followers the chance to win a free return sailing with Stena Line. The prize also included an upgrade to the luxurious Stena Plus Lounge, complimentary spa access, a £50 voucher to spend in Stena Shopping, and a complimentary meal and drink. 8 Million Stories ran and managed the competition via Gleam, a third-party competition platform that integrates well with Facebook. The competition required users to submit their postal address (for competition purposes) as the compulsory entry mechanism. It offered numerous additional “bonus” entries to help the Stena Line meet micro goals, such as boosting newsletter sign ups, gaining follows on Twitter, and boosting YouTube video plays etc.

The results

Over the course of 18 days, the social campaign and competition achieved the following:

Social campaign:

  • reach: 448,553,
  • reactions (likes, loves, shock, etc): 27,433,
  • video views: 85,000.

Competition results:

  • 9,528 users entered,
  • 26,953 entries,
  • 20,712 impressions,
  • 2,843 newsletter sign-ups.