Campaigns

To deliver hard results, maximise the opportunities around major events/anniversaries and meet the needs of all investors a number of brand, tactical and niche campaigns are delivered.

KENT CONTEMPORARY SUMMER CAMPAIGN

Kent Contemporary is Visit Kent’s annual brand campaign that  aims to reposition the destination as the Garden of England for the 21st century, building on awareness of what the county and its core heritage strengths has to offer whilst being able to surprise and delight in new ways. It is executed using powerful advertising images for Kent across London and the South East's rail and tube network, and is supported by associated PR, social media, and corporate comms activity.

For full details of the campaign, visit the dedicated Kent Contemporary campaign page here

The 2016 campaign activity again saw an enhanced digital approach, using strong visual messages on digital poster sites targeted at the commuter markets at key London underground and overground sites, an impressive social media presence incorporating both user generated content and comeptitions, and an even greater digital reach. 2017's campaign continues to enhance its digital, with lots more exciting competitions and quiz acticity planned.  

BIG WEEKEND

Now an established part of the Kent calendar the Big Weekend is a campaign aimed at local residents. More than 100 attractions and venues offer free tickets for one weekend per year to encourage local people to discover what is on their doorstep.  The event last year had over 116,000 ticket applications and over 20,000 people enjoyed a day out. Research shows that following the event 63% of participant would return to the attraction that year while 80% would reccommend it to their friends and family. As part of English Tourism Week the Big Weekend helps to raise the profile of tourism as an important sector in the local economy and gain the support of the local community.

Kent Big Weekend celebrated its 10th birthday in 2016, taking place on 12 and 13 March and involving more attractions than ever before. The campaign received a record-breaking number of ticket applications during the two week registration, and also featured extra gimmicks for the birthday year such as a Golden Ticket giveaway. In addition, participating Kent attractions offered  tickets to The Family Holiday Association, which helps families in need to take a well-earned break.  For more information, please visit the dedicated Big Weekend page here.

2FOR1 CAMPAIGN

Visit Kent runs an annual 2FOR1 campaign, in partnership with Southeastern, Stagecoach, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and P&O Ferries. The campaign provides visitors with over 40 2FOR1 offers from Kent attractions and venues.

The campaign activity includes a dedicated website, over 100,000 2FOR1 leaflets distributed across the Southeastern and Stagecoach networks, enewsletters to the Visit Kent database, social media, press releases (in English, French, Dutch and German), social media and PPC advertising (in the UK and nearby continent), a profile on Stagecoach and Southeastern’s websites and enewsletter programme and a profile on P&O Ferries and Eurotunnel Le Shuttle websites and enewsletter programmes.

To take part in the 2018-2019 campaign which will run from May 2018 until March 2019, please complete the survey by Sunday 15th April 2018.

EUROPEAN MARKETING

The near European markets of France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany are actively targeted through the international campaign and thanks to the successful SEACO and COOL Interreg programmes, activity in these markets is now much more enhanced. Activity includes press and travel trade as well as an exhibition programme and partnership campaigns with the cross-channel operators.

VISITING FRIENDS AND RELATIVES

Funded by the COOL Interreg programme and in response to research showing that the Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) represents a significant proportion of visitors to Kent, Visit Kent launched its inaugural VFR campaign in April 2014.

This campaign is targeted to Kent residents, encouraging them to invite their friends and relatives to visit the Kent countryside. The campaign was launched after Kent’s Big Weekend in 2014, in order to harness the emotion around their experience of having had a great day out for free. The idea being, they’ve had such a wonderful time, they can’t wait to invite their friends and /or relatives to enjoy it too. 

The campaign saw the development of a VFR microsite, built by Vincent Design, which takes Kent residents through a simple journey to encourage them to invite their friends or family to visit them in Kent. The user selects a postcard and sends this as an invitation by email, Twitter or Facebook. On sending the invitation, the user is entered into a competition to win a break in Kent for up to 10 guests. The user is then directed to a special landing page on the main visit Kent website filled with special offers. 

Dedicated launch email and follow-up email templates have also been built to send to Visit Kent’s Kent resident database on launch and at intervals throughout the campaign. The campaign was launched in April and the initial phase ran until June 2014. 

FRONTLINE KENT

2014 commemorated 3 momentous anniversaries: 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, 75 since the outbreak of World War Two and 70 since D-Day. 

Visit Kent has been working in partnership with the Frontline Kent Steering Group to bring together all the key events, places and relevant activities. Visit Kent leads and chairs the Marketing steering group for the Frontline Kent partnership. The campaign was officially launched at Dover Castle in April 2014 by Mark Dance and Amanda Cottrell. P&O Ferries is the official cross-channel carrier supporting the campaign.

Activity includes: A dedicated microsite at www.frontlinekent.co.uk; Targeted eCRM campaign in France (in partnership with Visit England); Sample itinerary for travel trade (in English, French and Dutch); Press releases (in English, French and Dutch); Promotional postcards; Partnership with “I like Music”; Print adverts with Kent Profile; Cover wraps and inserts with WWW guides.

MAGNA CARTA 800

15 June 2015 marked the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta and preparations are underway for some truly memorable celebrations.

The 800th Anniversary Committee was been tasked by the Magna Carta Trust to co-ordinate the 800th commemoration of the sealing of Magna Carta. The 800th Anniversary Committee deemed it important to have a dedicated Tourism Working Group dedicated to implementing a tourism marketing campaign to drive visitors to the locations associated with the Magna Carta.  

Visit Kent was invited to Chair this group which consisted of DMOs, locations and attractions with connections to this period of history from across England (including VisitBritain and Visit England). Core funding was raised from the group members (including City of London, Temple, Visit Wiltshire, Salisbury Cathedral, Faversham Town Council, Visit Surrey, Visit County Durham, Visit Worcestershire, and Visit Lincoln) and the consumer campaign launched in September 2014.

Visit Kent successfully bid for and was awarded £81,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a new touring exhibition for Kent, entitled Magna Carta Rediscovered. The interactive exhibition brought never-seen before artefacts and untold stories of intrigue, battles and bravery to new audiences across the county. The centrepiece was the 1300 Faversham Magna Carta, which leading scholars credit as one of the most important Magna Carta artefacts in existence. The tour visited key location in Kent associated with the Magna Carta, and was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Southeastern, the national Magna Carta 800 Trust and local partners Swale Borough Council, Faversham Town Council, the Alexander Centre, Rochester Cathedral, Kent County Council, Dover District Council, and Canterbury City Council. The exhibition was designed by Italian company ETT Solutions, and is being curated by Laura Samuels, from Jakaranda Tree.  The tour had a dedicated website, www.magnacartarediscovered.co.uk  

CRUISE PARTNERSHIP

The long established Visit Kent Cruise Partnership includes Kent County Council, Port of Dover, Canterbury Cathedral, Leeds Castle, English Heritage and Dover District Council, led by Visit Kent working closely with the Port of Dover, the partnership continues to grow cruise business into the county.

The cruise season sees more over 200,000 cruise passengers a year visit Dover either a Port of Call or a turnaround. Dover continues to be a popular call for AIDA cruises, Germany’s largest cruise line, and one of 11 brands operated by the Carnival group. MSC, Costa, Holland America Line, Princess and Crystal continue to make calls into Dover. Saga Cruises and Fred Olsen use Dover as their home port. 

GOLF PARTNERSHIP

Golf is one of the UK and Europe’s favourite pastimes and this campaign highlights Kent as a golfing destination.  Visit Kent’s golf campaign commenced in the lead up to the Open Golf Championship held in Kent in July 2010 and used the Open as a platform to propel the county’s superb golf product to a global audience.  It aims to bring together over 100 golf courses in Kent and to build on Kent’s reputation as a golf destination. 

Research shows that golf continues to grow in popularity; golfers stay in a wide range of accommodation, eat and drink out, and are valuable short break and long stay visitors.  We will be working with our short haul colleagues in Europe, France and Belgium and with long haul operators in the USA.