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How London & Partners harnessed the city’s content to reach 250m people

London’s principal promoters London & Partners brought together some of the city’s most recognised names for the first time in a campaign that has raised the marketing bar with an anticipated reach of 250 million people worldwide.

Promoting one of the world’s most recognised cities is no easy feat. Outmuscled by the sizeable budgets of cities like Paris and New York, London & Partners has to continuously be inventive in its battle to keep awareness high among tourists.

It is why the promoter locked itself in a room with agency Brooklyn Brothers early last year, testing idea after idea on how it could generate global interest with limited funds. The Guest of Honour campaign was the idea with the most potential due to a clever competition mechanic that put London’s best content front and centre.

Fast forward to December when, after over 10,000 entries, American part-time primary school teacher Adaeze Uyanwah was selected for posting the best short film and 70- word description of her perfect day in London. Uyanwah’s effort won her a two-week stay in London at the turn of the year that included a one-on-one tour of the Science Museum with professor Stephen Hawking, afternoon tea at Lord’s Cricket Ground and an appearance as an extra in the stage musical Mama Mia.

The campaign’s timing with the movie awards season means that Hawking’s involvement brought in media coverage from titles like CNN and the Guardian reporting on his biopic The Theory of Everything”. The reports, combined with support from Visit Britain’s tie-up with Yahoo, mean the campaign is anticipated to reach more than 250 million people by next week (1 April). Additionally, the hashtag #Londonguest is expected to be seen by more than 54 million Twitter accounts and two million Facebook profiles in the period.

While the competition ended in December, London & Partners has turned it into a six-month push that has peaked with a short documentary of Uyanwah’s trip.

The different strands of the campaign are tipped to bring in more than £16m worth of value to the London economy, according to a Greater London Authority (GLA) verified London & Partners ROI study. With confidence in its marketing so high, the question for London & Partners is how it builds out its activity moving forward.

Chris Gottlieb, chief marketing and communications officer at London & Partners, said: “It’s interesting that when Americans want to travel abroad they Google Europe as one of their higherst search times. One potential idea we have is wouldn’t it be amazing if we could pair with another European city. The campaign generated some interest in France so it would be great if we could do something with Paris as two of the greatest European cities combined.”

The initiative was backed by Visit Britain and the GREAT campaign.

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