This winter the city’s major Christmas campaign began in late October through a significant new partnership between Leeds Business Improvement District (Leeds BID) and VisitLeeds, aimed at boosting both the number of visitors into the city during this key trading period and driving an increase of spending into the city’s shops, restaurants and hotels in particular. The Christmas experience Magical Leeds aimed to provide, was further enhanced by a series of unique physical and digital attractions which brought a fly-thru the city centre at night via Reindeer cam (check it out on Youtube) and scoring as the most ‘Christmassy city in the UK on Instagram’ according to the BBC online.
The campaign has continued post-Christmas, pushing the profile of key winter events such as the Ice Cube and the completion of the award-winning Chitty Chitty Bang Bang run at the Playhouse. The scale of the integrated marketing campaign was significant with a full sweep of digital and traditional media and PR channels being exploited, to ensure all potential targets from amongst a very broad audience base, were both connecting and engaging with the relevant elements of Magical Leeds which talked to them. The reach, impact and level of engagement on social media was outstanding as a particular level of the marketing success, reflected by the BBC Online comment above and by some of the following stats, impressive I’m sure you’ll agree:
755, 825 total impressions across Twitter & Facebook between Oct – Dec and still rising……………..
7000 + views of Reindeer cam between early December and January
2500+ new followers during Nov and Dec directly through campaign activities
The media attention on Leeds during the campaign surpassed all previous years, with a total of 80 pieces of press coverage with a total estimated audience of around 2 million. Features ran in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph & Express, and 4 specific press trips with journalists spending time in the city experiencing all Magical Leeds offered for the festive period; the Scottish Sun article that followed said: ‘Leeds is the New York of the UK this Christmas’ going onto to describe the vibrancy and excitement of the city’s Christmas offer, a stunning result.
The campaign beyond Leeds, focused on attracting specific audiences within key catchment areas in the UK, including those between a one and two-hour drive time from the city and along the East Coast Main Line, to encourage them to extend their trip to an overnight stay or even longer – based on comprehensive research which indicated where such visitor traffic had come to Leeds from before. The activity looked to focus again on these audiences, but increase the visitor numbers further, exceeding previous successes.
The primary funding for this year’s campaign is provided by Leeds BID and supported by Leeds City Council, VisitLeeds, Trinity Leeds as the Gold partner, as well as a selection of key stakeholder organisations including our amazing hotels such as the Hilton, Marriot & Crowne Plaza.
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of the Leeds Business Improvement District, said: “Leeds is a city with a significant visitor offering, and through our major investment in this campaign, we hope that we can align the city with other major European destinations over the winter season.
“Leeds is continually ranked as a top UK city for visitors, but it’s important that we don’t rest on our laurels. We need to look ahead to meet changing customer expectations and highlight the unique experiences on offer within the city.”