Can you imagine the PR Campaign Big Idea for the 75th Golden Gate Bridge Celebration?

As I reviewed this exquisite 18 minute grand finale of the May 27th honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, I couldn’t help but wonder about the magnitude of planning details that went into this. Yes, it was spectacular, and from my point-of-view, went off perfectly.

Enjoy this video recap of the show.

Here are just some questions that came up for me while watching:

  1. How did they weave thru the vast selection of music for the fireworks show? They showcased a wonderful multi-cultural and generational snap shot of the metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area. I loved that they included R&R, current Pop and standard favorites as 60’s “Are You Going to SF” flower song and Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in SF”, and included big time local, Carlos Santana, R&B song “At Last” by Etta James, country icon Willie Nelson was included and some current hip hop – ALL perfectly planned out rhythm with the fireworks and laser show. Just spectacular!
  2. Who on the executive board of Wells Fargo was savvy enough to know that honoring the Golden Gate Bridge was the right thing to do? I have seen poster boards in the WF branches, banner ads everywhere, including the ATM’s promoting their position as sponsors, branded tents on the Marina Green, mention in all the advertising – great leveraging of their position and phenomenal exposure of our Wells Fargo icon, who’s corporate headquarters have been in San Francisco.
  3. I salute the other sponsors that included: Funding is provided by Genentech, Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo at the Tower level; Odwalla at the Cable level; and Chevron, Hanson Bridgett, Levi Strauss, PG&E, and Speck Products at the Builder level.
  4. How many genius pyrotechnics professionals of the show-stopping Pyro Spectacular Fireworks finale must it have taken, to pull this magnitude of a show off without one hitch, completely orchestrated with the music beats? How many meetings, planning, concepts and approvals were there to accomplish this show?
  5. How much planning did it take, between all the government agencies, to provide safety and security, protecting the public, the ocean and bay waters, the spectators, travelers, businesses and residential surrounding areas? And with a hard deadline. Thankfully, we have digital boards on all the highways throughout the bay area notifying the commuters, but that’s at a ground level at best.
  6. How many special touches, ribbons, celebrities, speeches, memorabilia coordination was involved?
  7. How many publicist represented the project to reach out and respond the media? They were able to handle all the local and national media coverage across the nation, in every newspaper and mainstream broadcasting. I’ve seen some magazine coverage already, but how many more to come will there be, since this is a year-long publicity campaign? Things have to be totally in place, press releases, spokespeople, graphics, photos, logos, online media rooms, websites, marketing distribution for events, all the branding, it’s huge!
  8. How was the Budget thought about ahead of time that would include everything that would come up and needed? How would any organizer or publicist have the forethought to think of everything? Hopefully, there was some sort of slush fund that was accessible without having to stop and pitch the worthiness of spending, in the middle of producing fabulous coverage!
  9. Who thought of the Fog Horn? That was terrific in the music lineup, what a fabulous addition and inclusion.
  10. What kind of music royalty rights were negotiated ahead of time that were used in the celebration lineup?

These were just my initial thoughts after viewing the well-done video by KFOG. I will have the pleasure to participate in a presentation and then ask questions first hand, to the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge coordinators at an upcoming Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) San Francisco chapter event June 19th. Make a comment on this blog post if you want more information and to be invited to attend the luncheon event in San Francisco. I’ll return reply with all the details.

After viewing this video clip, what questions do you have? I’ll be sure and blog about all the answers that I find after our June event. This was a historical monumental event.


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