The iconic Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on
Our Christmas campaign secured more than 200 pieces of coverage, increased footfall in the internationally renowned Oxford Street and reinforced the street as a go-to shopping destination.
‘Christmas is Calling’ officially kicked off Christmas in the capital for the 11th year on 6 November 2018. The night launched seven weeks of festive activity on the world-famous shopping street, which is seen by many as the beating heart of Christmas in London. This year saw a bold and exciting new format that celebrated home-grown musical talent, alongside high energy street entertainment and in-store shopping experiences in over 90 stores. Traffic was also halted at the internationally renowned ‘circus’ for the first time ever, where thousands flocked to see the famous lights illuminate.
Four secured more than 200 pieces of coverage with a total circulation of over one billion, immensely exceeding the KPIs. Highlights included Evening Standard, Metro, Time Out, BBC London, This Morning and many more.
The main objective was to create reasons to visit Oxford Street and increase footfall in the lead up to Christmas. Four was tasked to generate as much pre and post publicity as possible in key London, national and consumer titles, promoting the new, exciting experience-led format, as well as the jam-packed seasonal calendar of in-store activities and experiences post launch night. The campaign aimed to increase communications across all owned channels – PR, digital and social.
Planning & implementation
Partnering with Capital XTRA – the UK’s leading national urban radio station – Oxford Street turned the traditional switch-on on its head with a night of in-store performances from rising British grime and R&B stars plus DJ sets from Capital XTRA’s Yinka Bokinni and Robert Bruce. Intimate gigs from Novelist, Kara Marni, Ray BLK and Isaac Waddington, were enjoyed by excited shoppers. Ahead of the gigs, Four secured press interviews with the talent in the green room. We had sourced a stylist to decorate this room to create the perfect festive backdrop for photography and videography.
Four also hosted media and influencers during the evening, who attended the in-store gigs, revelled in hero retailer activity and enjoyed delicious food and drink.
Four created a partnership with a digital seeding platform, Taboola, to maximise the commissioned digital content across bullseye online media titles in the days following the switch-on to increase campaign reach.
After the celebrated switch-on evening, Four Communications invited and hosted regional media on Oxford Street over the festive season. We created bespoke itineraries for regional media to experience everything Oxford Street has to offer including an overnight stay in a luxury hotel, dinner, shopping experiences, brand talks and gifting. These press trips generated full features on why Oxford Street is THE destination to do your Christmas shopping.
Adapting & learning
Launching a refreshed format for such an iconic event challenged Four to ensure the new key messages of the format were delivered to all media in the best way.
The launch night saw more than 90 stores joining the celebrations making it the biggest Christmas shopping event London has ever seen with extended opening hours, offers and experiences showcasing the unrivalled festive offering available, across fashion, food, fitness, tech and more.
Content linked back to the Oxford Street website and was geo-targeted across the UK. This resulted in a total reach of 314,449 impressions and 1,190 clicks through to the content.
We achieved 30 pieces of coverage as result of the press trips with a total circulation of over 52,000,000.