KAFFEINE / Arts & Culture, Public Relations, Travel & Tourism


10 April 2018

Raise your stove pipe hats to welcome Being Brunel, the new addition to The SS Great Britain in Bristol; the heritage attraction that celebrates the life and work of Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Brunel’s story, his famous creations, including the SS Great Britain - and his penchant for stovepipe hats and cigars – are well known and well reported with many thinking his story has been told. 

To kindle new interest in Brunel we used his personality – from his love of Shakespeare to his compulsive cigar habit (he smoked almost 50 a day) and his to his acerbic wit and put downs.  He once wrote to an unfortunate colleague:  You have wasted more of time than you whole life is worth. You are a cursed, lazy inattentive, apathetic vagabond.” 

This approach was enhanced by showcasing artefacts from his life and working with key organisations such as the Great Western Railway and the UK Government to profile this Great Britain to overseas media. 

Being Brunel opened on 23 March amid a wave of media interest generated by our campaign. Coverage ranged from live broadcasts into BBC national TV news and Radio news including the Today Programme through to features in the Sun, Telegraph and Guardian and 40 other features. 

As a result visitors to the SS Great Britain’s website increased by over 200%, ticket sales boomed and the attraction experienced its highest consecutive footfall in the last decade. 

We’ll raise our hats to that.