Get Cultured in England

What better way to become more cultured than to do in it one of England’s most vibrant cities, right?

Big Ben in London

Concept: In January of 2013, VisitEngland launched a two-week travel campaign to promote and boost domestic tourism in some of England’s greatest cities. The ‘Think of England’ campaign was funded with over $2 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund and was part of VisitEngland’s ‘Growing Tourism Locally.’ The goals of the campaign were to generate over $5 million and inspire travelers to take more holidays.

The following cities partnered with VisitEngland:

  • Birmingham
  • Brighton & Hove
  • Hull
  • Leeds
  • Leicester
  • London
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • NewcastleGatehead
  • Norwich
  • Nottingham
  • Portsmouth
  • Stoke-on-Trent

Strategy: The ‘Think of England’ Campaign encouraged viewers to visit England for short breaks by covering the key topics of coast, countryside, heritage and culture. The campaign also highlighted rich and varied cultural activities throughout England such as music, literature, theatre, museums and festivals.

Tactics: VisitEngland incorporated a wide range of online, broadcast and print elements in partnership with Classic FM and Gold FM, The Guardian, The Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday. The campaign also included activity on social media for competitions and video content.

Media activity:

  • Competitions with Classic FM to win weekend getaways in England
  • 8-page ‘Hidden England’ spread in The Guardian
  • G2 cover wrap in The Guardian
  • Travel section cover wrap in The Guardian
  • 16-page spread in Mail on Sunday

You’re probably wondering.. “This sounds wonderful! Where can I see some of the advertisements?” Well, that’s a great question. According to VisitEngland’s website, their ‘tactics’ were released and published on the different media channels mentioned starting in January of 2013. However, there is no evidence of those advertisements on the Internet. Even the articles on The Guardian that covered the campaign have been deleted.

Not only was this frustrating for me, but what if the average traveler or scholar wants to learn about the campaign too? There is barely any information on the ‘Think of England’ campaign on the Internet. Lesson number one: if you’re going to release a travel campaign, do it properly so viewers can easily access the information regarding it. I understand the campaign is about two years old, but that shouldn’t matter.

When the information regarding the campaign has been deleted and an ‘unknown error’ occurs when you go to their website, it sends the wrong message to viewers. At the end of the day, VisitEngland’s goal is to encourage travelers to visit their amazing and captivating cities. ‘Think of England’ is a great example of what WON’T get travelers to visit your homelands. This is something all PR and advertising practitioners can learn from!

London at Night

 What do you think? Tell me your thoughts below!

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