Make a date with Leicester

Leicester City Council campaign

A strategic campaign to welcome back customers

Leicester was awarded European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) ‘Welcome Back’ funding to support the recovery of the high street following the easing of COVID restrictions. As part of the overall city programme, Leicester City Council wanted to engage with an agency to create, plan and deliver a phased marketing and PR campaign to support the city centre and neighbourhood businesses.

Now was the time where local businesses needed the support of the public. Businesses had made the relevant changes to adapt and diversify, and they were now ready to get back into business. An equally important message was to build visitor confidence and reassure them that it is safe to go out and engage in a range of experiences.

The focus of the campaign was to support different city business sectors by creating a family of eight guides for both online and in print. The guides would support retail, cafés, leisure and culture, restaurants, beauty and wellness, bars and clubs, hotels and tourism sectors in the city centre and larger neighbourhood commercial areas.

Arch won the pitch as lead agency, and partnered with FU Media and Cool As Media, who would look to curate the content.

A flexible campaign identity

The combination of our creative agency partnership was hugely complementary. Both FU Media and Cool As Media have publishing arms to their businesses and they are widely recognised as two of the biggest publishers in the county, with over two decades of combined experience. This knowledge base, alongside Arch Creative’s equally respected experience and reputation, brought an unrivalled partnership that was perfectly placed to deliver this project.

Our team decided that the ‘Welcome Back’ message wasn’t quite right anymore as most businesses had been back and open for many months. Our new campaign name and identity was developed; ‘Make a Date with Leicester’ which gave an emotive pull and a clear call to action to the defined target audiences to plan a visit to the city and support the local businesses and economy. The campaign message was also flexible enough to work across other seasonal events, so sub-brand campaigns were also created for Valentines and Mothers Day.

Photography, Video & 3D imagery

The city centre and neighbourhoods have much more to give and offer people in one respect than online shopping or out-of-town centres do. There are more activities, events and cultural experiences that people can enjoy – it’s more than just shopping. We wanted this to come through the copywriting, but also through some great new photography reflecting the city as a vibrant, lively place to be.

For each of the guide covers we created bespoke illustrations using 3D software which gave us full control over the final outputs, and enabled us to create contemporary images which we could then playfully animate. Taking inspiration from set design and still life, these objects were positioned on plinths to give them a sense of prominence, and were set against vibrant coloured backdrops.

A multi-channel campaign

The fully accessible guides were uploaded to the Visit Leicester website and the campaign was disseminated across three bursts of activity.

For burst 1, we created eight 3D animations to reflect the individual guides, together with a generic campaign animation. These formed part of a paid social campaign across Facebook and Instagram. The generic creative was also adapted for out-of-home digital screens, bus shelters across the city centre and neighbourhoods, and bus sideliners. We also created a 30 second commercial in Hindi for Sabras radio.

Burst 2 included eight 15 second videos which used our own footage, which each reflected the different sectors.

Burst 3 included a longer form brand video which incorporated elements from all sectors and was brought together with a specially written script and voice over.

A full PR campaign supported the launch at all stages.

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