The road to gold
- Client:Glasgow Life
- Project:Glasgow 2018 European Championships
In 2018, the inaugural European Championships came to Glasgow. The city’s campaign needed its own identity – one that would speak to a local audience of potential volunteers and spectators. We rolled out an iconic multi-channel campaign over several stages that was seen by millions. As a result, over 10,000 volunteers applied, 500k+ people attended between sporting and cultural events, and Glasgow’s reputation as an ideal host city was strengthened.
Seven sports, two cities, one chance
Athletics. Aquatics. Cycling. Gymnastics. Rowing. Golf. Triathlon.
In August 2018, the European Championships of these seven major sports were combined in a single historic event for the very first time. Glasgow and Berlin were selected as host cities, with Athletics taking place in Berlin and the remaining events in Glasgow.
With over 8,000 athletes, officials and media expected in Glasgow and a potential television audience of around 1.03 billion across Europe, this was an exciting opportunity to bring the city into the spotlight, and raise the profiles of Europe’s greatest competitors.
A Glasgow tale
Although the 2018 European Championships already had logo guidelines in place, Glasgow’s campaign deserved its own identity. The creative had to raise awareness of the event while showcasing Glasgow as a vibrant, welcoming destination. It would also need to evolve over time, enabling us to deliver a campaign that spoke to target audiences at each milestone.
In early 2017, we pitched to create the Glasgow 2018 European Championships campaign – and won.
Plan of action
We knew we had to be strategic with our creative in order to drive this campaign from start to finish. Our concept had to have the scope to develop over three key campaign milestones without losing audience recognition.
The event couldn’t run without volunteers, so we needed an inspiring campaign that would motivate a wide range of locals (and some international visitors) to get involved.
Pre-sale ticket campaign
To encourage ticket sales, we needed to create a buzz throughout Glasgow – evoking a sense of ownership and pride with strong city-wide creative.
In the final few months before the event, it was crucial to take stock and make our creative work even harder. Riding the wave of an already successful campaign, we hosted a scoping workshop with the client to refine our messaging. We then went on to develop a comprehensive eight-month strategy for all communications, which in turn informed a full content plan.
Visual concept and photography
Such a diverse event needed a visual frame of reference to make things clearer for the audience. We used aspects of the brand marque to form a dynamic structural device, taking the colour palette directly from the logo and linking each shape to a specific sport. This strong graphic approach was flexible across a vast range of media and could be evolved over time.
To communicate the essence of the brand in seconds, and visually represent the Championships’ tagline – ‘The Moment’ – we planned and art-directed a series of photoshoots capturing athletes doing what they do best. The resulting images became the heart and soul of the campaign, evoking the feeling of breathless anticipation before the action.
A fully responsive, content-managed website, designed and developed by us, allowed the client to promote events, share news and was a functional tool that helped them manage volunteer applications.
We created an uplifting, home-grown campaign to get locals on board. It featured real volunteers against iconic landmarks and highlighted the warmth and diversity of Glasgow’s people. We designed and built a bespoke volunteer information and application hub which sat within the event website and supported the campaign.
Next, we needed to get the local audience excited to spectate. We rolled out striking out-of-home campaign creative over two phases – including a digital and print wall takeover in Buchanan Subway station.
We designed a 32pp ticketing guide, of which 100k were printed.
Our carefully planned messaging was displayed in three sub-phases at sites across Glasgow, including one that capitalised on a rise in public enthusiasm for sport during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. Creative focusing on individual sports while also highlighting relevant venues strengthened our overall campaign during this key stage.
Bringing it home
Our iconic campaign was seen by millions of locals and tourists alike, helping Glasgow Life deliver an extremely successful inaugural event, with all of their targets met. It gave Glasgow 2018 an identity that truly reflected the city, and clearly spoke to its people:
- As a result of our campaign, over 10,000 volunteers applied; 3,000 within the first three days after launch.
- 500k+ people attended the European Championships between sporting and cultural events – double the projected number.
We’ve been really pleased with the work and ideas generated by Front Page, and the creative for our campaigns looks great. The creative they supplied gave us lots of food for thought, with multiple campaign routes that could be built upon, and they’ve been invaluable in terms of organising and coordinating the athlete photo shoots which can prove tricky!
Kirsten TuttleSenior Marketing and Communications ManagerGlasgow 2018 European Championships