OBJECTIVES

To support retailers in King’s Cross and Coal Drops Yard in the critical Christmas trading period following months of lockdowns, the Four team concepted and delivered United We Shop in just two weeks. This was a campaign designed to get Londoners back out and shopping in person – to ‘shop out to help out’.

The aim was to remind consumers and Londoners of the joy, atmosphere, personal interactions and engagement that can only be experienced when shopping in-store. The campaign also called for Londoners to do their bit to support the retail community, not only in King’s Cross but also across the UK during the pandemic.

The campaign was designed to support an ambitious digital growth strategy across owned social channels – growing followers and adding new audiences to the destination channels @KingscrossN1c and @coaldropsyard.

PLANNING

We knew from our social listening and sentiment tracking as well as ongoing discussions with media, influencers and the King’s Cross brands, whose customers were excited about the return of the physical shop, that there was a growing pent-up demand to not only get out and shop IRL but to also support local.

This coupled with Christmas being the most important trading period for retail called for a creative campaign to encourage people to safely shop and support London’s much-impacted retail community.

To deliver this campaign at speed it was important to galvanise support from the retailers across King’s Cross. We developed a ‘toolkit’ for retailers on how to get involved. We ran a fast track one-on-one briefing programme securing 29 retail brands to take part including –  APC, Earl of East, Face Gym, Nike, Samsung, Space NK, Tom Dixon, Tracey Neuls, Twiin, Universal Works and Wolf & Badger – all hosting special offers, promotions and in-store only activations.

To launch the campaign, kick-start editorial outreach and create engaging content for all channels Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, King’s Cross local, was secured as the campaign ambassador.

IMPLEMENTATION

The digital-first campaign targeting ABC1 shoppers reached over one million Londoners in the first week, across both earned and owned media channels. United We Shop became of the one most talked about re-opening campaigns in December 2020.

The Evening Standard ran the announcement of the campaign with a full page editorial feature urging Londoners to ‘hit the shops IRL once again’ and get that all important pre-Christmas ‘buzz of shopping’ whilst ‘supporting local’.

To drive authentic real-time content and reach for the campaign across all owned and earned channels ten London influencers who had a passion for physical shopping were secured including: Polly Vernon, Raven Smith, Katherine Ormerod and Little Spree. Bespoke itineraries were created working in partnership with King’s Cross brands, influencers were encouraged to post on both stories and the grid using relevant hashtags. We scheduled their content so that they ran pre-opening stories to drive excitement and anticipation for reopening, we then hosted them onsite once stores were open creating live content and spikes of digital activity.

Brands including Shelter, APC, Twiin and Cissy Wears re-purposed campaign content and used the #unitedweshop tag to share across owned channels.

A dedicated paid social campaign [run by the comms team at Argent] featured shopkeepers from King’s Cross encouraging people to return to shops to support the places they love and their community.  This outperformed all other paid media over Christmas, with a reach of 168k, over 431k impressions and high engagement, with 97% of people watching more than 100% of the video (despite only being able to run for a 2 week period as a result of the December lockdown).

OUTCOME

In just two weeks, the social content [137 pieces of organic content] from the campaign ambassadors had a total reach of over 700,000, 680,000 impressions and over 18,000 likes on Instagram. Followers to @Coaldropsyard and @kingscrossn1c increased by 3.1% [over 1,400 new followers].

Clara Amfo’s instagram post received over 9k likes within 24 hours with a reach of over 96k and saw followers to the Coal Drops Yard and King’s Cross channels increase by 3.1% [over 1,400 new followers].

Through the 12 brands that re-shared the content the campaign reached 497,715.

27 pieces of editorial coverage were secured reaching over 50 million including Mail Online, London Evening Standard, BBC Radio London and The Daily Telegraph.

The dedicated paid social campaign reached 168k and over 431 impressions – the best performing content over the December period.

ADAPTING AND LEARNING

This campaign tapped into the consumer consciousness at just the right moment giving consumers what they really wanted following the lockdowns, which was to give them a reason to get out of their homes, return to the shops, and support ‘physical’ retail.

The campaign was not designed with a Christmas narrative so that it could be re-purposed in 2021 to give retail a second boost. With London going into tier three within ten days of retail reopening and the campaign launching it showed us how important it was to create an agile campaign that had a life span beyond Christmas.