Glasgow: Scotland with Style
When it was launched in 2004, Glasgow’s ambitious Glasgow: Scotland With Style campaign was hailed as a triumph by some and terrible by others, but regardless of which side of the fence you sit, its success can’t be demeaned.
Now in its second year, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau’s Glasgow: Scotland With Style campaign has evolved to adopt a new face for the city – model Megan Cawte – and Scott Taylor, chief executive of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, hopes that it will continue the success of attracting visitors to the city.
“The ROI and our key performance measures are about really making sure that we get return on investment, and we’ve generated something in the region of £23 million worth of customers visiting Glasgow, that otherwise wouldn’t have come,” he says. “We’re defining that in a number of ways, but one of the ways is by the number of people who stay in the city, and basically Glasgow’s occupancy has risen by another 2 per cent. I think it’s interesting that we don’t have an increase in supply, what’s happening is that our demand is increasing supply.”
The new campaign features a thirtysomething woman in the back of a car, with notable Glasgow landmarks visible through the back window. Photographed by Glasgow photographer Mark Seager, the ads were styled by Kelly Cooper Barr and feature a strapline that simply reads ‘You’ve Arrived’.
“We know that our key target market is women in the 30 age group,” he says. “They tend to be the decision makers for short breaks, and they tend to be the decision-makers for conferences and for inward investment. The level of impact that women have in the decision-making process is one that we recognise. We also wanted to have someone who reflected an attitude, who was confident, who would reflect the target market that comes to Glasgow, which is an ABC1 audience. It’s no good patronising them, we have to be challenging to the audience that we’re talking to so that effectively they understand the advertising. What we’re not going to do is load an advert with copy and have to explain the advert in itself.
“‘You’ve Arrived’ is about the individual has arrived, the city has arrived. We deliberately used these shots in the car so that we’ve got that ‘moment in time’ aspect to it. There’s an arrival, you’re in that car. Cars do draw attention and here we’ve got Mercedes and BMW, and in the background, still the king is Glasgow. We dropped in the long-resolution screen, cinema style, so that effectively there is that sense of discovery to it. You catch glimpses of it, you see it through the window, you’ve arrived and the action is go onto the website. It’s really not about ‘Glasgow is a stylish, modern and cosmopolitan city, blah blah blah’. Really if you’ve got to explain what your city is offering, effectively you’re patronising the audience you’re talking to, but when it drops down from a DPS to a double page A5, it works equally as well, because effectively you know there’s more to Glasgow.”
The creative has thrown up some challenges for Feather Brooksbank, which won the media account last year for the campaign. As the creative work is panoramic and shot in a cinematic style, booking space has involved a lot of cooperation from media owners.
“Working with Feather Brooksbank, we’ve been looking at double half-pages to get this panoramic view, it gives us an individuality in the publications,” says Nick Maguire, managing director of Maguire Advertising. “Some take double halfs but not many so we’re looking at using space creatively. This is the kind of advertising that are in these publications. Very sophisticated and very understated. They let the brand sell the product. Once you start going into long copy and explaining the quality of the branding, you actually demean the brand. Our target audience is sophisticated and intellectual, they’re used to publications like that and Glasgow’s fit is in that publication and in their mindset that Glasgow is a sophisticated city. If you have to explain the advert it loses credibility. We think our audience is intelligent enough to understand that ‘you’ve arrived’ has a double entendre. It means the city has arrived – Glasgow’s positioning – but also the person has arrived in the city. But they look confident and they look successful. We wanted that ‘paparazzi shot’.”
Feathers’ strategy involved the use of a style pyramid, which looked at how brands become stylish.
“We delved into what it really meant to be stylish and what people thought the concept of style was,” says Gary Wise, head of strategy with Feathers. “So we segmented the UK audience in quite an unusual way looking at people’s different attitudes to style and the way style manifested itself looking at different campaigns. That led us to a style pyramid, which represents the four audiences that we’ve chosen to target for this campaign. At the very top you’ve got the key influencers, the style leaders who will influence the tiers below them. The strategy of the campaign is to use the filtration process and to target the opinion formers and using word of mouth and power of influence, hence that we’ve got self-discovery advertising. It’s not about blatant tourist destination advertising, it’s about simple, and single-minded influential advertising. At the top of the pyramid you have a minimal spend on media, with quite heavy investment in PR, with the two working really hand in hand. Opinion formers are not really going to react to traditional advertising so you’ve got to reach them in a much more subtle way. As the campaign progresses you’re using their influence and their word-of-mouth and the reach of the campaign becomes much more broader. The media becomes more important then. We’ll start to buy into much more mainstream titles. We’re never actually going into the mass-market, obvious choices for tourism advertising.”
The original campaign – created by the Maguire Collective, which consisted of Maguire Advertising, Atalanta Advertising and Design, the Big Partnership, Russell Ferguson Marketing and Media Planning Group – saw the city attract over £20 million worth of extra business.
The initial burst in 2004, focused on short breaks and tourism, something GCMB has moved on from. “The first stage of the campaign was the short breaks campaign,” says Maguire. “The idea was to get as many people into Glasgow as possible in that particular marketplace. It was very much targeted at short breaks and had a totally different look to it. It’s now become a style icon. This is more a brand building exercise to say ‘Glasgow is the brand’.”
As part of the next phase, the www.seeglasgow.com website will be revamped by BD-Ntwk, and internet advertising will play a big part in the advertising strategy. “It’s not going to be about just using banners, it’s actually using online advertising to drive the brand and gain online equity,” says Wise. “It’s not going to be about getting as many click-throughs as possible. The site selection is not going to be the typical combination of Lastminute.com and Expedia. It’s going to be more about protecting and propelling this really classy Glasgow brand.”
“The website now has over 10 million page views a year and it’s been growing at a rate of around 70/75 per cent a year,” says Taylor. “With this activity, we’ll be looking at doubling the number of page views by the year end. By the end of November 2007, we want to see about £30 million extra in conferences and events coming to Glasgow that otherwise wouldn’t have come. We want to see a further increase in occupancy. We’re talking about £50 million worth of drive here, this is not about soft marketing with no end results.”
“I think one of the key elements about this is the passion behind it,” says Maguire. “I’m very passionate about it, Scott’s very passionate about it. It’s good for the city, but it’s also good for the creatives in the city.”