On 9 February 2012 Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, officially launched our £25 million image campaign, as it rolls out across 14 major cities in nine key inbound tourism markets, reaching an estimated audience of some 90 million people.
Running until March 2013, activity is being undertaken in major cities in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan and the US with the aim of enhancing overseas perceptions of the UK as a major tourism destination and helping drive economic growth.
Along with the GREAT image effort overseas, passengers arriving at airports across the UK - including the likes of Heathrow, Gatwick, London City and Manchester - will see GREAT posters on display when they get off the plane and as they travel onwards through the airport. This is to help reinforce a sense of a warm welcome and help improve perceptions of the UK’s overall friendliness.
This campaign enables us to promote Britain in some of the key global economic powerhouse cities making this the largest ever image campaign that we’ve undertaken, with a view to capitalising on an incredible year of celebration across the country.
Our evaluation into the GREAT image campaign estimates it has potentially generated a return of £200.25 million and 422,000 visits to Britain, indicating a return on investment (ROI) of 8:1. Download an executive summary of the evaluation into the image campaign or find out more about our £100 million marketing programme.
Toronto & Vancouver - 24-25 May
Our GREAT Britain launch took place at the end of May in Toronto and Vancouver. At Vancouver International Airport on 24 May a flash mob performed near the international food court. Dancers were dressed as the Spice Girls, The Beatles, Austin Powers, David Beckham, Elton John and Harry Potter.
Juggling circus entertainers, Sir Richard Branson, Minister Hugh Robertson, morning breakfasts and evening receptions all combined to reinforce the message to Canadians that Britain is a GREAT place to live, visit, do business with and invest in.
Shanghai - 11 April
A huge video screen in the heart of Shanghai’s skyline, was lit up with GREAT Britain images. McLaren F1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton and ex-NBA basketball player Yao Ming, the most famous Chinese athlete of all times were among the 150 guests attending the star studded GREAT launch event on a boat cruising the Huangpu river.
Earlier in the day at the foot of the city’s Oriental Pearl TV tower, Jeremy Hunt and China Ambassador Sebastian Wood stood on our GREAT Britain 3D canvas artwork featuring Covent Garden, praising the artist Joe Hill as a “vivid example of British creativity” and a brilliant showcase of what British tourism has to offer. The pair also toured other parts of the GREAT Britain street exhibition, featuring the Britain from the Air exhibition, the Land Rover’s Evoque and the Rolls Royce Ghost vehicles.
Tokyo - 10 April
Our GREAT Britain image campaign was officially launched in Tokyo by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
In Shibuya Junction, one of Japan’s most iconic locations with thousands of people passing through every minute, there was a GREAT Britain branded double-decker bus as well as striking images of the campaign on four giant screens with a personal message from the Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Delhi - 17 March
In Delhi, GREAT billboards lined the main routes in the city and around 100 GREAT branded taxis are driving on the streets. Britain was named partner country at the India Today Leadership Conclave, India’s answer to the larger-scale but similar collection of world leaders at Davos. Politicians, business leaders, sports persons, entertainers, thinkers, statesmen were all well represented.
As part of the arrangement with the organisers, Britain got its own mini-pavilion to showcase the GREAT Britain branding, through floor and wall motifs and a specially prepared film, running continuously on a loop, featuring the various GREAT Britain campaign pillars. One of the celebs passing through our pavilion was Nasser Husain, ex-captain of the England cricket team.
Sydney - 16 March
Guests and local celebrities were treated to a red carpet event on the eve of the Melbourne Grand Prix weekend, to highlight the official launch of our GREAT Britain image campaign in Australia focusing on the Sport, Innovation, Culture, Music, Technology and Entrepreneurs pillars.
The party was hosted by the Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and British High Commissioner Paul Madden, who addressed over 300 guests, including local businesses, celebrities and the CEOs of the majority of the F1 teams.
Rio - 9 March
GREAT Britain launched in Rio on a Friday evening with a very impressive event hosted by all the British government interests led by the Embassy and attended by Prince Harry plus a host of other VIPs – model Lily Cole, Berkeley chef Marcus Wareing, Brazilian born Issa designer Daniella Helayel and music from Giles Peterson and drinks by the Groucho Club.
The following day there was a GREAT Sports Day where Prince Harry participated in beach volleyball, a Sport Relief mile, rugby (which will be an Olympic sport in 2016) and samba.
Paris - 17 February
GREAT branded Minis featured in a GREAT Britain photo call at Paris’ Gare du Nord, where David Cameron and Nick Clegg arrived after a short Eurostar train trip. His Excellency Peter Ricketts, British Ambassador in Paris, was also in attendance.
The photo call took place in front of 2 GREAT branded Mini Cooper, whilst our GREAT posters were displayed in and around the French train station.
New York - 15 February
New York commuters were treated to a very unexpected sight as fashion’s elite gathered together in Grand Central Station to launch the GREAT campaign and the inaugural run of the Britain branded subway shuttle.
Anna Wintour, OBE, Editor-in-Chief of American VOGUE, Victoria Beckham, Marchesa designers Keren Craig and Georgina Chapman, Tamara Mellon OBE, British supermodels Karen Elson and Jourdan Dunn and the British design duo behind US label rag&bone, joined Ambassador Sir Peter Walmacott for the inaugural run of a GREAT-wrapped train.
It was also officially announced that Victoria Beckham, whose autumn/winter collection debuted in New York on Sunday, will act as a GREAT Ambassador. Consulate volunteers handed out 4000 GREAT-branded Metrocards, which proved a big hit with commuters and the official launch photo was shot by iconic fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier.
See the Vogue article to find out more about the launch event in New York.