Bold marketing campaign to showcase Birmingham city centre at Christmas

Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Birmingham this Christmas, as the city’s vibrant, festive offering is showcased through a new destination marketing campaign entitled ‘Experience Christmas in Birmingham’.

Combining creative visuals of Birmingham’s iconic Christmas backdrop, a new interactive microsite, consumer competitions supported by marketing and PR activity, Experience Christmas in Birmingham will target potential visitors across the UK.

The campaign will target families and couples and encourage overnight stays in the city centre so people can enjoy the booming night-time economy in addition to retail.

The combined budgets of Retail BID and West Midlands Growth Company will give the campaign a larger reach and better media buying power and include digital, outdoor and social activity. There will be various executions of the visuals which will include Baubles + Bratwurst, Big + Boutique plus others, which highlight the message ‘Birmingham has it all’.

Visitors are being encouraged to explore Birmingham’s bustling shopping scene, with the Bullring offering extended opening hours in the run up until Christmas. Festive menus from the hundreds of city-centre restaurants, including the seven independent Bitters ‘n Twisted venues across the city, offering cuisine ranging from South American to contemporary classics.

Steve Hewlett, Retail BID Birmingham manager, said: “Birmingham city centre is the perfect Christmas shopping destination with high street favourites at Bullring and Grand Central, designer homewares at Mailbox and more than 100 independent boutiques in picturesque places such as Piccadilly Arcade and Great Western Arcade.

“We’re the only city outside the capital to boast the ‘big five’ department stores; Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis and House of Fraser, which will see the return of its popular Santa’s Grotto after being given a magical makeover.

“Add to this the Frankfurt Christmas Market, and the city centre shopping scene is a unique, special experience.”

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing and Communications at Visit Birmingham, said: “We welcome visitors from far and wide to experience Christmas in Birmingham. Everyone can join in the festivities – ranging from stunning productions from the likes of Blue Man Group, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, to the largest authentic Frankfurt Christmas Market outside Germany and Austria.

“Working with our campaign partners, promotional activity will also extend beyond Christmas, highlighting the breadth of Birmingham’s offer in the New Year and beyond – from major events including the IAAF World Indoor Championships taking place in March, to world class shopping and Michelin star restaurants.”

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “The Frankfurt Christmas Market’s arrival marks the start of the festive season, drawing millions of visitors to Birmingham – last year 4.6 million people visited the city during the Christmas period, resulting in an economic benefit of nearly £400 million.

“Christmas is a fantastic time for people to experience all the city has to offer in terms of culture, entertainment, food and shopping – and a warm Brummie welcome.”