The Big British Invite

In the last quarter of 2011, we launched a four-year tactical match-funded partnership with British Airways. As part of our post-Games marketing push, running from October 2012 to March 2013, we extended our partnership with British Airways to include an additional £5 million match-funded brand activity in China, Japan, India and the US and £2.5 million tactical activity in UAE, Canada, Brazil and Russia.

Under the slogan ‘The Big British Invite’, the campaign featured 'real' British people inviting potential visitors to visit Britain and enjoy their favourite places and experiences. Our nine launch ambassadors included Alan Kingshott, Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London and Ed Burstell, Managing Director of Liberty’s.

The campaign included print and digital advertising featuring special fares.

March 2013 - USA


SoHo in New York, enjoyed a British invasion in March as we hosted another event as part of The Big British Invite campaign. The GREAT Britain inspired 3-day event included a VIP launch for 300 guests, media previews and and 2 consumer days for 1,200 attendees which booked out in record time.

The event showcased the best of what’s now, new and next in Britain and aimed to smash stereotypes and invigorate interest in Britain amongst new market segments in the tri-state area. The experiential event incorporated 13 distinct areas for visitors to explore including a tea salon from the Sanderson Hotel, a cocktail bar from the Fluid Movement Cocktail Collective, styling sessions by Liberty, music pods from King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, unique food features from the Highlands Restaurant Group, VisitWales and the London Candy Company, and fashion tributes by nail art mavens Wah Nails and a tribute to punk fashion. The best of England, Scotland and Wales were all highlighted.

Media could sign up for two special press preview tours of the venue which were led by Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and Grammy award winning singer-songwriter Estelle. The event attracted top tier media and influencers from the tri-state area including CBS Television, The New York Times, Reuters, Conde Nast Traveler, Forbes and Vogue.

March 2013 - Moscow

We staged a Big British Flashmob, inviting people to Britain, together with our partner British Airways as part of our joint Big British Invite campaign.

 A GREAT Britain-branded giant suitcase popped up overnight in the Afi Mall shopping centre on 2 March, and acted as the centrepiece of the event. Shoppers were quick to watch the experience and capture the British characters - including James Bond, Mary Poppins, The Beatles and Sherlock Holmes - on camera before they entered the suitcase.  

March 2013 - Shanghai

Around 100 guests from media and trade attended our Shanghai launch event on 8 March with a speech by The HM Consul–General, Brian Davidson.

The two-day event received thousands of visitors, who explored the British lifestyle through a variety of pop-up stores showcasing British music, fashion, heritage and countryside. The shopping, Alice Temperley and British Airways uniform fashion show were the most popular areas. Our campaign ambassadors – Jake Barber, punt chauffeur from Cambridge, and George Brodie, Yeoman Sergeant at The Tower of London, also attracted many visitors.

March 2013 - Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo - Great British Bash

Our second event with British Airways took place in Tokyo over the weekend of 2 March. We had a fantastic response at our media and trade launch event with 120 guests attending, including a special appearance by Jeremy Hunt, the former Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport. Jeremy spoke in Japanese about the GREAT Britain campaign.

The shopping, fashion and heritage core themes of the British lifestyle were especially popular with consumers.

February 2013 - Mumbai, India
Mumbai - Great British Bash

As part of our joint marketing campaign to promote the UK globally, we hosted a four-day grand event at Phoenix Mall, Lower Parel in Mumbai from 15-18 February 2013. Visitors had the opportunity to explore and experience core pillars of a great British life through pop-up stores, which covered shopping, music, countryside and food in true British style.

Ambassadors in Mumbai, India include Tara Brown, Lead Custodian at Laugharne Castle on the Pembrokeshire coast and Alan Kingshott, Chief Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London.