Inspired by the Indian Holi Festival, Travis Snyder decided to combine the idea with a 5KM running experience to deliver The Color Run. First launching in the United States back in January 2012, The Color Run has since spread across the globe leaving a trail of colour and happy runners behind it. In 2016, the event came to Scotland but the organisers needed local expertise to gain awareness in an increasingly noisy (and colourful) marketplace and to deliver all-important ticket sales. Impressed by our performance marketing results and the calibre of work they had seen us deliver for other arts, culture and event companies, they asked us to take on the challenge.


LOWER CPA than target for PPC


DECREASE in cost-per-conversion


LOWER CPA than target for Facebook

A family-friendly event sponsored by Skittles, The Color Run is a fun run targeted at both groups and individuals. But with copy-cat events entering the marketplace, driving awareness of The Color Run had become increasingly difficult. The Color Run had witnessed declining engagement and had been unable to really make a splash in the Scottish market at that time. Most critically, conversion performance on previous campaigns had been poor.

The Color Run team had already looked into outdoor advertising and some mobile targeting but required a local agency who were not only expert in performance marketing but also understood the marketplace, to complement their in-house team. So, we were delighted when they gave us the green light.

Working within a tight timeline (just 9 weeks) and budget, we planned out results-focused campaigns to run across search, display, remarketing, outreach, influencer engagement and social media. We also identified a media partner and scoped out a geofencing mobile campaign to run on their app platform. 

A strategic approach to drive high ROI

Following our initial research, we crafted copy and creative that was informed by high performing assets, keyword analysis and user demand. We created a delivery plan that would optimise key activation points throughout the nine weeks in the lead up to The Color Run and we ran several smaller test campaigns across channels to identify high converting but low-cost targeting options. 

From there, we built out an integrated mix of ads across paid search, display, video and remarketing on AdWords in order to build awareness, drive interest, engage relevant users, remarket to those who had not previously converted, and ultimately deliver a growth in ticket sales. Alongside this, Facebook ads were created in various formats that targeted detailed audiences using a variety of demographic, geographic, interest and lookalike parameters. 

Local influencers and major media partners were identified and opportunities presented to them in order to create collaborations that would dramatically scale awareness of the event. 

But, never ones to be yellow-bellied, we didn't just put our best digital marketing brains to it. We also donned our brightest white t-shirts and running shoes and got the team ready to paint the town red. Despite a serious lack of training, all the team made it over the finish line, showing their true colours and we raised over £1K for charity in the process. 

"Thanks for everything. The results have been great!"

- Emelie N., The Color Run

Flying colours

In just nine weeks, our strategic campaigns had proven so effective that cost per acquisition (CPA) had decreased by 86% when compared to The Color Run's previous campaigns. Our PPC campaigns delivered a CPA that was 3.5 times lower than the target figure and, similarly, thanks to highly cost-effective social campaigns our CPA on social ads was 7.7 times lower. A partnership with Media Scotland drove over 80K impressions with a click-through rate of 4% with multiple social media posts delivering to an audience of over 7.4K individuals. 

But, most importantly, the event reached its ticket sales target and our team were hugely proud to be part of the day (both behind the scenes and covered in coloured powder out front)!

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