BRIEF:

In the run-up to Christmas 2015, Bluewater – one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations – was facing its toughest retailing environment to date. Customers were frequently shopping more online, warmer weather meant people had less need for traditional winter staples and a lacklustre Black Friday meant it was imperative to position Bluewater as the definitive Christmas retail destination.

SOLUTION:

As well as implementing both online and offline, we utilised hard-working techniques to maximise coverage. These included using targeted angles to understand our key media and their readers, and carving out exclusive Christmas features specifically for them. We provided media with strong imagery, developed regional hooks (such as working with local schools to position Bluewater as part of the community, establishing links with local communities and gifting media with tickets to key seasonal attractions at Bluewater: Winter Wonderland and the Christmas Light Switch-On) and partnered with influential bloggers. In addition, we produced VIP media experiences to showcase Bluewater’s festive offering to drive quality reviews and produced case study led features to promote the breadth of quality retailers and benefits of extended opening hours.

All this was supported by our social strategy for which we supported Bluewater’s retailers by presenting both individual and collated gift ideas, engaging guests in innovative and fun content that supported our core themes. Plus, helped guests complete their shopping by proactively presenting gift suggestions and discount offers via a specially created Christmas game and microsite.

RESULTS:

  • Bluewater’s best ever Christmas trading period in the toughest retail environment on record
  • 173 pieces of coverage, all favourable and 50% exclusively about Bluewater
  • Social increase (vs previous quarter prior to appointment):
    • 6%+ Facebook Fans
    • 11%+ Twitter Followers
    • 51%+ Instagram
    • 173%+ Post reach