At Christmas some things are certain. Children will wake at 5am, gifts will be exchanged, and a poll will announce that Frank Capra’s 1946 classic It’s a Wonderful Life is the nation’s favourite Christmas film of all time. The reason this movie, over sixty years on, continues to capture the mood of a nation is of course because it represents the Christmas dream – family and friends, peace and goodwill, and perhaps an outside chance that guardian angels really exist.
Dreamers and non-believers alike know that Christmas is a crucial time for the economy, generating customers and jobs. This Christmas Glasgow will see over 11 million visitors to the city’s style mile over the festive period – the equivalent of the population of Belgium visiting Glasgow’s city centre over an eight week period. With half of Glasgow city centre’s annual £2.4 billion retail sales turnover generated over the Christmas period, this presents an outstanding opportunity for the city.
And Glasgow is in pole position. We are the largest and most successful retail destination outside London’s West End, with over 1,500 shops in the city centre and more than half a million square metres of retail floor space. This unrivalled retail offering, along with a seven-week programme of festive events, gives us a unique advantage. But we can’t rest on our laurels – we need to work hard to retain our crown and in doing so continue to support the retail sector and protect 38,000 jobs in the city. Our Glasgow Loves Christmas campaign, launched at the start of this month, aims to help achieve just that.
Central to the campaign is our collective partnership strategy. We know that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which is why we are one of the few destination marketing agencies to work with such a wealth of public and private partners, and market-leading brands, on our Christmas campaign. We join forces with Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life; seven of the city’s leading retailers – Buchanan Galleries, St Enoch Centre, Argyll Arcade, Frasers, Hamleys, John Lewis and Princes Square; and work closely with industry partners to promote all that Glasgow has to offer and maximise the overall benefit to the city.
Earlier this month we rolled out a new, multi-channel £200,000 marketing campaign, comprising TV, radio, outdoor, print, digital and PR. At its creative heart is the traditional Christmas. We know that in challenging times people return to core values – family, friends and a sense of community. And Glasgow’s festive programme is based on the quintessential Christmas visitors know and love – ice-skating, Christmas markets, and new for this year the city’s first traditional Christmas parade. So the brief for our marketing campaign was to develop a creative which reflects the warmth, magic and diversity of Glasgow at Christmas. The heart motif has been brought to life as a dynamic, glowing visual device that can be taken across the entire campaign. The television commercial uses an unapologetically festive soundtrack designed to evoke the spirit of Christmas. Crucially, we know that Glasgow is a genuinely good-looking city and is best represented in a genuine way. This is why our creative has photography at its heart. Moreover this is advertising to bring out the Christmas dreamer in everyone.
At the campaign’s strategic heart is a central Scotland target audience we know love to visit Glasgow for its shopping, events, bars, restaurants and clubs. Our media mix includes a heavyweight TV campaign, reaching 3 million adults across central Scotland, and bespoke radio promotions with Clyde, Real and Smooth which will see festive characters from each station hitting the streets of Glasgow to bring festive cheer to shoppers. This is augmented by targeted advertising on commuter routes into the city – the Glasgow subway, ScotRail trains and the high impact M8 banner – one of the biggest outdoor formats in Scotland with 200,000 people seeing it each day. Edinburgh won’t miss out either on the opportunity to shop in the style capital of Scotland, as you will see from our advertising presence at Edinburgh Waverley station.
This year Glasgow City Marketing Bureau has taken a greater focus on social media than ever before. Our Christmas campaign messages are assimilated into our digital conversations with our fans and followers and we are driving deeper audience engagement with bespoke blogger outreach and festive photo-sharing activity launching in early December. Our greatest social media success story to date is our Glasgow: Scotland with style app, which features over 800 of Glasgow’s businesses and has doubled in downloads over the past year, currently sitting at 30,000 downloads. By integrating our Christmas messaging into our app we can give our app customers even more accessible and useful information at their fingertips, and drive further engagement into the new year.
All this means that in January, as the old Christmas movies are packed away for another year, we are confident that the city of Glasgow – and crucially its events, retail and leisure product – will face 2013 with a successful Christmas under its belt and its eyes on a happy and prosperous new year.
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
LinkedIn: Glasgow City Marketing Bureau
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