Dreaming of a Green Christmas With The Marlowes Shopping Centre

Monday 19th March, 2018

We're very excited to announce that today our client, The Marlowes Shopping Centre has been shortlisted for a Purple Apple award. These prestigious awards recognise and reward effective shopping and town centre marketing within the UK retail property sector. The Marlowes have been recognised in the Events category for their 'Santa's Waste-Not Workshop'. Read on to find out more about the work we did on this campaign:

In December, 2017, we worked alongside our client The Marlowes shopping centre to deliver a creative identity to showcase their Christmas family experience.

The Marlowes, Hemel Hempstead is a 340,000 sq ft shopping centre home to 99 stores and dominates Hemel’s retail footprint accounting for 38% of the shopping area. With Christmas being the busiest time in the retail calendar year, it’s important for shopping centres to step up their game to deliver a unique retail experience to be enjoyed in centre, helping to attract footfall and provide shoppers with a clear advantage of bricks over clicks shopping.

Recyclenow.com identified that English households will throw out an additional 3m tonnes – that’s five sacks of rubbish per family – over the festive period. Much of this will be waste that could have been recycled.

With that in mind, working with local schools and the council, a truly green grotto was created by The Marlowes using collected recycled and reused materials. Activity included recycling craft, meeting Santa and using pedal power to light up the centre’s 8m Christmas tree. Working alongside The Marlowes, Big Cat aptly branded this unique and innovative Christmas experience as ‘Santa’s Waste-not Workshop’.

To illustrate the Christmas experience we created a scene built from paper craft and recycled textures. Materials included paper, card, plastic, plywood, foil, cotton wool and sequins. We created animation assets which were rolled out across all digital channels, including mini video graphics to grab attention on social media platforms.  The Santa animation was also incorporated into a broader festive campaign for the centre pushing messaging around late night shopping hours and hassle free, local shopping.

As part of the campaign, schools were encouraged to recycle materials which were used to create the workshop space. Any shoppers who visited the Waste-not Workshop were invited to share a selfie on Facebook with the recycled snowman using the hashtag #MakingYourChristmas as part of a social media competition.  This helped to raise awareness and build advocacy of the event by tapping into local people’s social media networks.

Furthermore, local families were encouraged to give gifts to those less fortunate than themselves, as The Marlowe’s partnered with one of the UK’s leading family support charities, Home-Start, and created their very own donation station.

And the results……

Santa’s Waste-Not Workshop created a totally unique and different Santa experience that encouraged conversation beyond that of a traditional grotto and got children and families thinking about how to be more echo-friendly at Christmas. It expanded children (and parents) minds, helping to support local authority initiatives.

During the campaign period 1,916 local children visited Santa across the nine weekend events seeing a 15.2% uplift on last year’s visitors.

An additional 1,078 children used the Waste-not Workshop during weekdays, utilising the energy bikes and craft area. This was a 7% increase on target.

54 bags of recycling was collected from the schools in the local area totalling over 800 bottles and drink cans collected.

The activity on Facebook saw a 79% increase on last year’s Christmas campaign with the video and animation elements being viewed 25,226 times. Twitter organic reach increased by 251% (5,528 vs 1,494).

Written by Christie Buet Communications Director

Monday 19th March, 2018


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