South Parks Education Programme

by John Brown Media Client: Merlin Entertainments Group
The Brief

To increase school visits to and workshop bookings at the theme parks Chessington World of Adventures Resort, THORPE PARK and LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort.

The Challenge

To reassure teachers of the educational value of a trip to a theme park against the multitude of school trip destinations, many of which are perceived as being more educationally enriching.

Editorial Response

In a diversion from the traditional hard-sell direct mail mechanism often used by leisure companies targeting schools, John Brown devised an offering that utilises a range of media to prove to teachers how a school trip to a theme park can tick all the boxes in terms of safety, educational worth and pupil engagement.

First, to prove the credibility of the parks’ educational offering, we applied our creative talents to producing high-quality educational resources, for use both in the classroom and at each of the parks. The resources (primary school Quests for visitors to Chessington and LEGOLAND, and business-related Student Packs for secondary school visitors to Chessington and THORPE PARK) were created with specialist teacher consultants and hosted on the theme park websites.

To give teachers a flavour of what a school trip is really like we developed promotional videos and teacher magazines (Learning for Chessington and Inspire for THORPE PARK) featuring workshops at the parks in action and carrying interviews with teachers and pupils.

Email newsletters and printed information booklets helped drive teachers to the online materials.


With Chessington’s schools-generated revenue growing 10% against budget last year, Merlin Entertainments Group’s Trade Marketing Manager Stephen Pratt said: “Working with John Brown has enabled us to establish a creative 360 marketing approach – helping increase our credibility and appeal to schools in this competitive area.”

Sharon Crane, Assistant Head of Upper School, Moulsham High School said: “Having read Inspire, all I can say is wow, absolutely brilliant!”

A buzz within the Merlin group has led to John Brown being selected to supply creative across an increasing number of Merlin attractions including Alton Towers Resort and Madame Tussauds London.

Click here to watch the Chessington World of Adventures video

Click here to watch the Thorpe Park video

Click here to watch the Legoland video