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The Problem

Durham is a captivating county, with a stunning coastline, a rugged countryside and a city with a UNESCO world heritage site right in the middle of it.

The problem was, not enough people knew about it.

So people weren’t visiting, and Durham wasn’t benefitting from that all important tourist pound.

Durham had a growing programme of festivals and events and research had shown that several of these would directly appeal to the ‘traditionals’ and ‘discoverers’ that Durham wanted to engage with.

The Intelligent Idea

If you don’t know it exists, why would you visit?

Ignore the assumptions of awareness and show Durham’s hidden gems in the countryside, coast and city by using stunning imagery bringing to life the story of the destination brand.

Show ‘This is Durham’ both beautifully with some genuine North East passion.

The Solution

We wanted the very best locations that Durham had to offer, so we worked closely with Visit County Durham, the destination-marketing agency, spoke to locals and scoured maps to find the very best of Durham.

The images spoke for themselves.

We brought the stories to life with simple, dramatic messaging, directing people to the destination website.

Media spend was targeted around areas of high volume traffic areas around the main train routes to Durham and specialist short-break titles.

The Results

With a relatively small spend and a wide target market, we had a large ROI target of 10:1.

Initial results exceeded expectations – over 80% of respondents liked the advertising, in fact 64% of all respondents were more likely to consider visiting Durham because of it.

We also won a silver award for the best–out-of home advertising, piped to second place by Guinness.

But the true test of the campaign was how much incremental spend had increased by – we smashed it, the final result was 25:1.

The Happy Client

The results absolutely exceeded our expectations and are a great success story for our region as a whole.

From strategic planning to organising large scale, complex outdoor shoots to budget planning to producing a wide range of campaign deliverables SHA. also exceeded our expectations and I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.

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