A grand old affair.


Big Cat was tasked to undertake an 18 month media & stakeholder program to drive regional, trade and national awareness in the lead up to the launch of Grand Central Birmingham. The aim was to position Grand Central as Birmingham’s ‘meeting place’, and at the fore of the renaissance of the city.

Turning instinct into action

A phased approach was adopted to ensure clear chapters of communication with assorted media, stakeholders, and potential customers. Phase one was about establishing Grand Central and telling the commercial success story throughout the retail and property media. This was to communicate the overall offering, tell the heritage story behind Grand Central and explain the overall vision for how Grand Central can knit together the retail tapestry of the city centre.

The next phase shifted focus to sustain momentum through consumer media and establish Grand Central as a brand in its own right. When we hear facts, it activates our rational left-brain, but when we hear stories, our sensory, emotional right-brain fires into action. And emotional connections is what builds brands. A busy, proactive and reactive press office was set-up. We told our own consumer news stories – underpinned by qualitative and quantitive research – executed a series of stunts, profiled retailers, and curated the Grand Central story through a busy social media content publishing strategy.

The final stage was the launch moment itself. Initially implementing new, robust reactive media and issues management protocols and processes as a hygiene factor, we turned Grand Central into a theatre for flashmob dance performances, a live band, and singers performing throughout the day. Combined with this we created a bustling broadcast hub where we hosted 52 journalists, executed 10 live outside broadcasts, 15 pre-record packages, and more than 100 pieces of launch day coverage….all over a 48hour period.


435 Pieces of coverage
100 Broadcast mentions

On launch day

95% Retail units let
52 Journalists

Regional, national, trade and press

19k Facebook

Engagements during launch weekend

1 mill Visitors

During first 3 weeks of opening

Coverage in

Daily Mail 01
The Huffington Post 01
The Independent 01
BBC 01

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