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This is Edinburgh campaign hailed as £50M success

Marketing Edinburgh, Essential Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh Council have announced the results of their hugely successful, award-winning £1million This is Edinburgh campaign.

On the back of an impressive awards sweep including the Scottish Business Awards’ PR Marketing & PR Strategy of the Year and a Scottish Event Award for Edinburgh Fashion Week, results reveal Scotland’s capital has been placed firmly back on the map with campaign expectations exceeded across the board.

Over the two year campaign, an average footfall growth of 2.86% was achieved, smashing the target by almost 50%, while retail sales exceeded the UK average by 1%. This amounted to just over £50million in economic impact for the city over the two year period.

Launched in February 2014, This is Edinburgh sought to reignite locals’ love for their capital city, with the overarching objective of increasing city-centre footfall by 2% above the national average as residents were encouraged to venture back into the city to enjoy its shops, restaurants and attractions.

A response to a downturn in visits to the city centre following the tram works, This is Edinburgh got behind local businesses with a fully integrated and impactful campaign. From big city centre events including the popular Edinburgh Restaurant Festival and Edinburgh Fashion Week, targeted outdoor, online and TV advertising, to a new website and supporting social media campaign, the campaign garnered a ground-swell of support with 95.6% of those questioned just one year into the campaign stating they felt more positive about the city centre than a year prior and 86% of those crediting This is Edinburgh for their change of heart.

The #ThisisEdinburgh24 campaign was a campaign highlight, calling on locals to share their hidden gems and most loved Edinburgh hot spots throughout a 24 hour period. Over 5,000 individual posts saw the hashtag clinch the crown as the number one trending topic in Edinburgh and the third most popular UK-wide. Since its inception, the website receives over 100,000 unique users per months and the social channels have garnered almost a quarter of a million followers; a solid foundation to move forward from in the promotion of Edinburgh as a destination globally.

John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh said: “After two years of making the £1m investment work very hard, we are incredibly pleased with these results. This is Edinburgh was about bringing a fresh approach that put the real city, its personality and hidden gems at the heart of the campaign, reigniting residents’ pride for their home. Throughout we have been firm believers that Edinburgh is the greatest city in the world and it’s fantastic to see the people at the heart of this success enjoying their city again.”

2015 saw the biggest turn out for the campaign’s supporting event programme with over 40,000 collectively attending the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival, Edinburgh Fashion Week, Spa in the City or Film in the City. The results of this were tenable: 44% of attendees came into the city specifically to attend the events, 82% of them were from Edinburgh and the Lothians and three quarters visited the city’s bars, shops and restaurants during their trip.

Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh said: “This campaign has shown how having a varied and exciting schedule of events created for locals can hugely benefit businesses within the city centre, reminding locals of everything that is great about their city and providing a tangible reason to come in. We’re thrilled to be building on that success with Edinburgh Fashion Week kicking off this year’s programme of events again in March.

“The success of the campaign shows the importance of cross agency partnership working, and illustrates the huge benefits that can be had from working together towards a common goal.

Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Marketing Edinburgh is at the heart of the Council’s ongoing strategy to promote the Capital, attract city and town centre footfall and build support for local businesses.

“To have had such success with the ‘This is Edinburgh’ campaign is proof that city marketing brings real economic results. This campaign has gone above and beyond target, with footfall growth in the city centre almost 50% higher than we anticipated.

“It’s no secret that Edinburgh is one of the world’s best cities to visit and live in but I’m proud that together, we have been able to shine a light on some of our hidden local gems.”

These results come at a pivotal time for the city, as the campaign partners strive to capitalise on This is Edinburgh’s foundations and continue to market the city nationally and internationally as well as locally.

John Donnelly, says: “We are in a strong position to move forward and help Edinburgh sustain and grow its reputation as a world leading destination, with its proud residents at the heart.

“The This is Edinburgh website and highly influential social media accounts are an incredibly strong legacy for the campaign and will form an excellent platform for the city to reach new target audiences at home and abroad. Only by working together will we shape the successful and properly-funded future Edinburgh’s tourism offering rightly deserves.”

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