Say hello to #CultureCabs

Hull, UK: Sowdens used a strategy of community engagement to launch KC’s Lightstream service – the fastest fibre broadband in the UK.

We devised a multi-faceted approach including a direct mail initiative, which involved placing ‘do not disturb’ style notices on the handles of residences in the area as well as roadside signage, but for the campaign to be successful it required a more lateral method.

With community engagement a priority, Sowdens developed a number of social media-led community engagement schemes for a more subtle approach. The flagship element of the scheme was a Culture Cabs competition, which asked local schools, businesses and families to design their own street cab.

The cabs are unique to KC and are the green metal cabinets that can be found at the side of the road, which house Internet cables and equipment. The campaign saw high levels of interaction from the community and artwork by the 10 winners has now been installed, prompting great feedback from the public on Twitter and Facebook.

As a result almost 400 people have signed up to the new service, ensuring the campaign is well on its way to exceeding expectations.

Other initiatives included delivering Lightstream-branded energy drinks to the Newland Avenue veterans football team to give them ‘extra speed’.

Hull is unique in that it is the only city in the UK not to be served by BT, which is illustrated by its use of cream coloured telephone boxes rather than the traditional red.

Polly Sowden, the company’s director and main creative influence behind the scheme, explains: “The Avenues area is a very bohemian part of the city and we had to take in to account that a big corporate campaign would not be a successful one.

“As such we decided that any campaign we developed must reflect the community. Not only was the community involved in the designs and choosing the winners but they have directly benefited from having a range of art installed in to the area.

“As we move ever closer to taking on the City of Culture mantle in 2017, schemes like this become increasingly important. This was a significant consideration when developing the campaign and we feel that giving local artists the chance to have their work displayed in public reinforces the area’s cultural ethic. Our aim was to put culture on the end of every street and I think we’ve achieved this.”

Kate Elliott, marketing manager at KC, said: “Sowdens developed a very strong campaign that really helped to increase our engagement within the community. Not only that, but the end product was something that has created a real talking point.

“The history of our marketing campaigns shows that community involvement delivers some of our best results. By developing a strategy that delved deep in to the community we’ve seen some really positive effects.”


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