Winner of the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) Purple Apple Marketing Awards - Merit Award for Strategic Integrated Marketing Campaign
How DO you get people to visit Bluewater at Christmas when there’s so much competition?
By distilling the brand into one simple thought: “Pure Bluewater.” Christmas therefore had to be “Pure” too, with the focus on the core values of the festival as a welcome antidote to recession and over-commercialisation. And by offering visitors the opportunity to win Christmas in New York we got them to go to Bluewater in their thousands.
Christmas is a time for unity, fun and sharing; but in the fast-paced world of retail, there’s a huge amount at stake as the holiday season can represent anywhere between 25-40% of annual sales, so it’s a crucial period for Bluewater. The relentless growth of online shopping increased the pressure: the IMRG Cap Gemini e-Retail Sales Index reveals online sales during December were up by 16.5% on 2010.
And the economic context couldn’t have been worse with the country again teetering on the verge of recession and consumers squeezed between falling real incomes and rising prices: ONS data showed that the average price of some items needed for a Christmas dinner had risen by as much as 50% since 2010. Most challenging of all, the state-of-the-art Westfield Stratford had opened just a few miles away with all the benefit of the hype associated with the London 2012 Olympics.
So getting it right at Christmas was more important than ever. Bluewater still offered customers an unparalleled level of service and choice, but 23red had to crystallise this in a motivating idea that would capture the imagination and get more visitors to travel to the Kent location in the face of intense competition. The agency had to capture the true essence of the season and the ‘Pure Christmas’ campaign 23red created would prove to be a key factor in helping Bluewater out-perform its targets over this crucial trading period:
81% thought the advertising portrayed Bluewater as a destination with more to offer than shops.
350,000 customers came to the Christmas in New York event.
8% increase in customer footfall during Christmas.
“Last year probably more so than ever before we had to produce a Christmas marketing campaign that really delivered. Bluewater had a very strong Christmas which was well supported by quality and relevant advertising delivered by 23red”
David Wilkinson, Head of Marketing, Bluewater