This campaign brought people together and delivered commercially. The impressive concept was developed and curated from scratch and they understood what matters. It showed an innovative approach to civic pride in the true spirit of public relations and it worked well with so many touchpoints, in addition to being sensitive to diversity and inclusiveness.
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Brief and objectives:
The first ever Made Up Leeds festival was a free, two-day event going beyond beauty, covering make-up in all forms for all people, with demos, makeovers, speakers and 100+ offers from the city’s biggest cosmetic brands and retailers.
The aim was to increase cosmetics sales and footfall by tapping into a large demographic.
Two agencies were appointed – SLB PR curated the events, activated the spaces and oversaw talent management. Umpf raised awareness through a comprehensive PR and social media campaign, and designed the branding, marketing collateral and website.
- Establish a new city-wide cosmetics event and drive footfall
- Increase customer spend for cosmetics retailers in Leeds city centre
- Generate awareness of Made Up Leeds.
The idea, research and planning:
Our target audience was people of all ages with an interest in make-up, from Leeds and the surrounding areas. It needed to be as inclusive as possible, and we brainstormed and carefully researched the most suitable guest speakers.
The two-day festival involved 90 cosmetic stores, brands, and retailers, spanning the entirety of Leeds city centre. Partners included Trinity Leeds, John Lewis, Merrion Centre, Harvey Nichols, The Light, St Johns Centre, House of Fraser and Leeds Corn Exchange, with dozens of events and over 110 offers.
The festival’s unique message of inclusivity echoes Leeds’ reputation as a diverse, vibrant city. The messaging, line-up, speakers, media coverage and events had to reflect this. It also had to stand out from the crowd, as the beauty/cosmetics industry and trade press is saturated with make-up events.
The concept had never been done before in Leeds, so the greatest risk was that no-one would attend. However, pre-event sign-ups proved we were generating awareness and driving attendance, thanks to our PPC, social media and PR approach.
Strategy, tactics, creativity and innovation:
This was the first cosmetics festival of its kind for Leeds, so a lot of work was needed to build its profile.
To maximise media coverage, announcements were drip-fed to the media, co-ordinated alongside the website and social media announcements. Influencers’ own social media accounts were utilised, securing as big a reach as possible and driving traffic to the MUL website, and footfall to the event. LeedsBID also brokered a deal with Capital FM, giving it credibility and kudos with our target market.
Taking into account the festival’s all-important inclusivity, we secured a diverse line-up of speakers covering a range of topics. Speakers included Made in Chelsea’s Georgia ‘Toff’ Toffolo who spoke about her battles with acne, and make-up artist Ruby Hammer and celebrity hairdresser Andrew Barton who offered tips for people of all ages. E4 Body Fixers’ Danny Richo held hairstyling demos, Love Island’s Kaz Crossley and Alexandra Cane hosted ‘meet and greets’ and make-overs for competition winners. Male beauty vlogger Lewys Ball drew in big crowds with a Q&A session, worldwide drag performer Michael ‘Gisele’ Allan hosted a make-up masterclass, and mother-daughter make-up artists Lookamillion and Mumamillion from neighbouring Bradford hosted a Q&A.
Event spaces included a shipping container on the city’s main shopping street Briggate, which was transformed into a hairstyling salon. A pop-up beauty bar was held at Leeds train station – utilising a high footfall area (the busiest station in the north) to signpost visitors to the festival. Trinity Leeds also hosted a dedicated Beauty Room and Beauty Bridge.
Umpf and SLB PR produced and managed the following:
- Website (www.madeupleeds.co.uk)
- Glamour Passports
- Social Media
- Influencers, guest speakers & event spaces
- PR within this, the two agencies worked together but also had defined roles, as outlined in the brief.
Measurement and evaluation:
The first Made Up Leeds was a huge success, bringing thousands of extra people into Leeds city centre.
Sales far exceeded targets – with retailer feedback overwhelmingly positive and some reporting their biggest trading week of the year. Extensive media coverage was achieved before, during and after the event.
Objective 1: Establish a new city-wide cosmetics event and drive footfall
- Online: Event registrations: 5,427 (pre-event). Eventbrite tickets sold: 820 (All events sold out)
- Web traffic: 37,764
- Social media reach/engagement: 813,580 / 30,544
- Passports/bags distributed: 8,500
Objective 2: Increase customer spend for cosmetic retailers in Leeds city centre
- Sales: Spend forecast: £347,072 (estimate based on 5,427 pre-registered with average spend of £64 person).
Objective 3: Generate awareness of Made Up Leeds Media/PR Coverage
- 64 pieces of coverage
- Cumulative media reach of 23million
- National coverage from the Daily Mail, as well as local, regional, retail trade, cosmetics trade, events websites and listings (including The Yorkshire Post, Yorkshire Evening Post, Visit Leeds, H&N Magazine, Fashion Network, Beauty Magazine, Access All Areas, Leeds City Magazine, Leeds Live, Retail Times, Asian Express, Stand Out, Living North, Cosmetics Business, etc).
Budget and campaign impact:
- Media partnership: £17,000 (Capital FM)
- Talent & influencers £20,000
- POS (tote bags, Glamour Passports, etc): £12,000
- Agency fees: (SLB PR & Umpf) £9,500
- Total: £58,500.
The event, which was the first of its kind in the region, was a huge commercial success, with proven sales uplift for cosmetics retailers across the city centre. Made Up Leeds stands out for its inclusive concept, variety of speakers, creativity, teamwork and approach which all contributed to a successful event. The incredible results and retailer feedback speaks volumes, and plans are underway for this year’s event.