This was particularly challenging due to the economic downturn, people's negative preconceptions about malls, and the serious competition from Oxford Street and Bond Street.
To challenge the preconceptions of upmarket consumers by demonstrat-ing that Westfield is the best London retail experience. We planned to achieve this by spreading the word virally and getting close to customers through media partnerships.
On TV we used centre-breaks on Desperate Housewives, while online we partnered with CondéNet to offer a £2,000 shopping spree. We created a glossy cover-wrap for the Evening Standard, polybagged ES magazine, and enlisted Oxford Street and Regent Street vendors to hand out light-filled, branded balloons the night before launch. We also ran a competition inviting readers to submit pictures of London "in a new light" via a dedicated microsite. However, the pinnacle of the campaign was our partnership with Grazia. Eschewing the traditional media approach, we enlisted the title's editorial team to help us bring Westfield to life, since Grazia's readership is synonymous with Westfield's target audience. We developed the idea of producing a special issue featuring the Westfield launch. After running a cover gatefold and a 16-page editorial piece to promote the event, Grazia relocated to Westfield for a week and produced an entire issue from a temporary perspex pod. We also ran an online competition for readers, inviting them to experience Westfield.
The Condé Nast competition attracted 3,000 entries, while the Grazia competition attracted more than 9,000 entries - almost 5% of the magazine's total circulation. In the week after Westfield opened, customers to Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street fell by 25.2%, and by 25.1% across Kensington High Street, Knightsbridge, the Kings Road and Sloane Street, according to data from research firm Synovate.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk