COVID-19 —  view latest information

Norwich BID & Visit Norwich launch new campaign to encourage residents to return safely and confidently to the city.

Following the national lockdown and the reopening of retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, Norwich BID has created a bespoke campaign to encourage people back into the city centre and support our local businesses.

We knew that as lockdown restrictions eased, our marketing approach needed to deliver two things: reassurance and encouragement. Firstly, we needed to be very clear about how the city was changing, and what was being done to keep people safe. To meet that objective, Norwich BID commissioned 2 x bespoke animations, which were used as an asset in a paid social campaign to drive traffic to an FAQ’s section of the VisitNorwich website. Here, visitors to the page could find useful info about parking, toilets and up-to-date guidance.

Our second objective was to deliver more emotional drivers, to build civic pride and increase awareness of everything that Norwich has to offer. Following consultation with the Marketing PAT, ‘Norwich, the Next Chapter’ takes cues from City of Stories, and aims to bring people back to the city safety and with confidence.  

Launched the first week of August on our VisitNorwich channels, Norwich, the Next Chapter is a cross-channel campaign including outdoor display, social media, a new website hub and a brand-new film. The one minute 8 second film features a local cast, businesses from the city, our most iconic and well-recognised landmarks, as well as new additions in the city centre, such as face masks and social-distancing screens. It focusses on the human moments we’ve missed, and aims to show people that life is in the city again, along with measures to keep people safe.

Realised by local creative agencies Meantime Media and Grafik Language, the film launched on the morning of 7 August, to an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response. In four days, the short film was watched over 60,000 times. With amazing feedback from local businesses, key Norwich organisations, and from residents, the film has set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

We’re directing traffic to a new custom hub on The VisitNorwich website, where we’ve designed three main strands of content: practical, inspirational, and celebrating local. Namely:

·       ‘This is business unusual’ contains practical information about visiting Norwich, from FAQ’s to the latest safety guidance from Visit England.

·       ‘Make up for lost time’ focusses on inspiration, with newly created content including itineraries, activities, and links to accommodation.

·       ‘Here’s looking at you, Norwich’ applauds our local residents and businesses, focussing on the community spirit that makes our City of Stories.

Research by VisitBritain suggests ‘Concerns about catching COVID-19’ (at 42%) remains the leading reason for not feeling confident about travelling between July and September this year. A similar proportion cite ‘fewer things to do/places to visit (41%) and around a third state ‘fewer opportunities to eat/drink out’ (34%)’. Content has been created with these concerns in mind, with every opportunity for website users to find information about visiting the city safety as they move laterally through new content pages.

Additionally, outdoor signage has been placed in high footfall areas around greater Norwich and on key routes in and out of the city, in order to create local awareness of the campaign. These new posters showcase Norwich’s key landmarks (and social media favourites!), with simple messaging to encourage people to head to Advertising will also feature in the city bus station.

The campaign will run throughout August & September, for agile, reactive, and responsive marketing.

Local businesses are encouraged to participate in #NorwichNextChapter. On social media, please use #NorwichNextChapter and tag us @visitnorwich and @norwichbid on any relevant content. As always, get in touch if you’d like to discuss further.