Marketing Campaign Shortlisted Entries

The Real Mary King’s Close is a five star (Visit Scotland), award-winning visitor attraction. Opened in 2003, they welcome over 180,000 visitors each year. They used their tenth anniversary as an opportunity to upgrade, install a new Gallery Room and reinvigorate their brand.

The marketing campaign, ‘Imagine…., the Real Mary King’s Close’ was to “create a new brand campaign aimed at creating eye-catching promotional design to reach target audiences whilst inspiring new and return visits”. Targets were set for an increase in footfall, an increase in admissions revenue, to maintain their 5* status and to generate local, national and international press coverage.

The campaign invited visitors to imagine life during the 16th to 18th century using the historical characters of the Close as the faces of the campaign. Portraits of the historical figures were used across all of the advertising and PR. A range of events and newsworthy PR ensured that the attraction was visible throughout the 10th anniversary year and the results have been well worth it.

An increase in visitor numbers 4% up on target, record-breaking admissions revenue (in spite of a freeze on ticket prices) and a huge amount of PR coverage mean that this successful campaign is now going to continue for another two years. They have also regained their 5* status from VisitScotland.

Durham University
Durham University – Lindisfarne Gospels Durham: One Amazing Book, One Incredible Journey

‘Lindisfarne Gospels Durham: One amazing book, one incredible journey’, was the marketing campaign behind the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels at Durham University in the summer of 2013. Normally on display in the British Library, the exhibition to show the manuscript in its home region required a marketing campaign that would strike a balance between the academic, the spiritual and the popular. It also needed to raise the profile of Durham and the North East nationally and internationally as well as generating audiences for the exhibition.

Strong media partnerships helped to stretch the tight budget and ensured that there was plenty of coverage, not least on the BBC. The newly developed brand identity, which was taken from a non-religious motif from the Gospel book, had a strong impact. Its flexibility meant that it could be used across all media including merchandising.

The exhibition was a sell out. The website which formed part of the marketing campaign was visited by over 220,000 people and gained international subscribers. Marketing partnerships helped to achieve a huge national and global reach, and resulted in visitors from over 50 countries visiting the exhibition. The campaign also helped to generate considerable income for the North East economy.

The National Maritime Museum - Visions of the Universe: Amazing Photography of Space and the Stars
The National Maritime Museum – Visions of the Universe: Amazing Photography of Space and the Stars

Visions of the Universe: Amazing photography of Space and the Stars, was a temporary exhibition which took place at the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich that showcased over a hundred captivating images of stars, planets and galaxies. It also allowed visitors to ‘virtually’ look through a window on Mars and witness real-time digital photography from the Mars Curiosity rover.

The objective for the marketing campaign was simple – to drive 40,000 visitors to the exhibition. The idea was not just to attract those people interested in the scientific and astronomical aspects but a broad, popular audience.

Using an extraordinary image of “The Butterfly Nebula” taken by the Hubble Telescope provided a dramatic main focus of the marketing campaign. The development of a hashtag “Spaceisawesome”, which was included on all marketing materials, provided visitors and the online space and astronomy communities with a platform to discuss why they think space is awesome.

The campaign resulted in the original visitor target being nearly doubled, as well as thousands of views of the Visions trailer. Social media interactions were also greatly increased.

Tricolor Ltd and The Royal Artillery Museum - Keeping it Social, Firepower
Tricolor Ltd and The Royal Artillery Museum – Keeping it Social, Firepower

‘Keeping it Social’ was the 2013 social media marketing campaign of Firepower, at The Royal Artillery Museum. Open year round, the RAM, like many others, understands that the school holidays provide the best opportunities to attract larger and more diverse audiences and generate income. The idea of ‘Keeping it Social’ was to use social media to sustainably grow school holiday audiences to generate more income for the Museum.

Reduced budgets meant that marketing and audience development had to be more cost effective. Sustained YouTube, Twitter and Facebook activity was used to connect with the target audience groups and to provide relevant, fun and engaging content including designed e-flyers, photos of activities, top tips and visitor-driven content that would generate ‘Likes’, ‘Shares’, ‘Retweets’ and ‘Favourites’ to increase the online reach of the campaigns.

Short videos were produced which showed children that the museum is a fun, interesting and engaging place and showed parents that it is a quality, good value and educational destination for the family.

As well as an increase in Twitter followers and Facebook likes, YouTube videos were very successful with 31% of visitors saying that the digital activity had prompted them to visit Firepower. Admissions, too, were increased with October half term admissions up over 45%.

Horniman Museum and Gardens - Walrus on the Move
Horniman Museum and Gardens – Walrus on the Move

The large taxidermy specimen of a walrus is one of the most popular exhibits at the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ Natural History Gallery. When it was loaned for a touring exhibition in the summer of 2013, a marketing campaign, ‘Walrus on the move’ was devised to minimise its absence. With a regular returning audience, the Horniman wanted visitors to embrace the loan and enjoy the walrus’s holiday at the Turner Contemporary in Margate. Awareness raising, gaining a deeper understanding of not only the walrus but also the Natural History collections were additional objectives.

With no dedicated budget, plans were focused on an integrated campaign capitalising on visitors’ existing relationship with the walrus. Social media and PR announced his departure, activities in the gallery and online social media took place throughout his absence and a wandering walrus competition asked visitors to send holiday photos of the toy walrus.

The walrus’s departure and return both featured on news items and many people submitted Wandering Walrus entries. An online video of the walrus being packed and moved has been seen more than 2,000 times. Visitor numbers rose during the period and social media following increased. Sales of toy walruses have also increased. The playful tone of the campaign proved very effective and the walrus itself now has an additional 500 Twitter followers on his account.

The winner will be announced on 14th May at the Awards Ceremony to be held at 8 Northumberland Avenue, London. Click here to book your table.

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