Watch: Visa Christmas campaign encourages shoppers to support their local high street

Global financial services brand Visa is launching its 2019 Christmas campaign with a focus on independent shopkeepers to inspire people to visit their high street and shop locally this Christmas.

Watch: Visa Christmas campaign encourages shoppers to support their local high street

Created by Saatchi & Saatchi and directed by Gary Freedman, the ad features 13 real shopkeepers – including a bookseller, greengrocer, antique dealer and café owner - to encourage shoppers to show their local high street some love this Christmas.

The ad will air at 9.15pm tonight during the Pride of Britain Awards on ITV1.

Independent retailers up and down the country are invited to join the campaign by recreating the ad and showing why 'Where you shop matters' to their own high streets.

The copycat films will be independently judged and showcased across social media, with the overall winner airing in a prime-time ad slot in the run-up to Christmas.

As part of its #WhereYouShopMatters campaign, Visa is also supporting more than 150 independent retailers nationwide, through the gifting of personalised ads on billboards in six prime city-centre locations, and geo-targeted ads on social media.

Recent research by Visa found that 55 percent of independent businesses said social media helped them grow, so the channel focus allows the campaign to be more targeted – ultimately helping to drive footfall and engagement with the high street.

Ian Burge, communications lead for Visa UK & Ireland, said: "We aim to build on the success of last year by giving even more small businesses a voice. We want to inspire everyone to shop locally this Christmas. Together we can all play a part in setting up our high streets and communities for success in 2020 and beyond."

Grayling will lead the 'copycat ad' competition across earned and paid social media. The agency will also profile shopkeepers taking part in the campaign through a strategic regional media relations campaign, while delivering a nationwide campaign across earned online, print and broadcast media to remind shoppers to shop locally.

"Our campaign will use our regional network to shine a light on high-street shopkeepers across the UK and the reasons to shop locally, while also recruiting them to copycat the ad and spread the message across social media. We hope to have the tills ringing across UK local high streets this Christmas," said Frankie Oliver, head of consumer Brands, UK and Ireland, at Grayling.

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