Bright PR reclaims the shops for women

FootFall, owned by market research multinational Experian, provides retail companies with information on shopper behaviour by measuring shopper visits at more than 200 UK stores.

Campaign: Retail Road to the World Cup
Client: FootFall
PR team: Bright
Timescale: April to July 2006
Budget: Undisclosed

Last year’s Fifa Football World Cup provided it with an opportunity to analyse whether men would desert the high street during the championship, leaving women to enjoy shopping in less crowded streets. It decided to test this theory during each England game and report its findings to the media.

OBJECTIVES
To consolidate its position as an expert commentator on the retail industry. To raise awareness of FootFall’s expertise in collecting shopper information.

STRATEGY AND PLAN
The team wanted to target potential business customers as well as consu­mers, so decided to work mainly with the broadsheets and trade press. To get journalists interested, Bright decided to package FootFall’s retail data with explanatory insight from analysts.

The agency wanted to create a drip-feed of stories during the World Cup, so it launched its campaign by conducting research into what people buy in the build up to big games and when they buy it. It also looked at historical data to gauge how the last European Cham­pionships affected shopping patterns.

Bright sent key journalists a presentation box decorated with the St George’s flag containing predictions of the impact of the tournament on retail, a fixtures chart, desk calendar, a schedule of all releases and press office contact details. A 24-hour press office was set up for use throughout the tournament.

Bright also used FootFall’s international offices to access data from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Germany and ­Pol­and. This allowed it to make com­parisons on the impact of the tournament in the competing nations, as well as show off its European reach.

After each England match, Bright issued releases including statistics and comment. The team also worked with Retail Week before the event on an exclusive feature predicting the likely impact of the tournament on retail.

MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION
The campaign generated 93 pieces of coverage, which included stories on BBC News and Sky News, as well as in the broadsheet and tabloid press. Interviews took place with Sky News, Daily Mail, The Times, The Observer, Mail on Sunday, PA News and Reuters.

RESULTS
The campaign generated leads that res­ulted in new clients for FootFall. It helped raise the company’s profile and led to it being as a ret­ail commentator on TV and radio prog­rammes. Hits to the FootFall website increased significantly after the World Cup, and the German edition of Retail Week uses weekly retail footfall index statistics from FootFall’s German off­ice.

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