Award for ad campaign based on Northumberland’s dark skies

Cris Brown, sales and marketing manager at Northumberland Tourism, is presented with the award.
Cris Brown, sales and marketing manager at Northumberland Tourism, is presented with the award.
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Northumberland Tourism has won an award for its advertising campaign based on the county’s dark skies.

The tourism board, in conjunction with North-East agencies SD Advertising and Room 8 Design, won the award for Best Low Budget Campaign at the recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) Northern Awards.

Northumberland, the land that’s just as good with the lights off was a multimedia campaign run during October and November 2014 to raise awareness of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and to encourage people to use www.visitnorthumberland.com to book a holiday or plan their visit to the county.

The creative for the campaign, designed by Room 8 Design, consisted of a striking image of Sycamore Gap on Hadrian’s Wall at night with the strapline, The land that’s just as good with the lights off. The campaign, co-ordinated by SD Advertising, included radio, magazine advertising and editorial as well as online promotion.

A survey following the campaign revealed that new visitors had spent a minimum of £31 for every £1 spent on the campaign, offering great value for a campaign with a budget of less than £12,000.

During the award ceremony held at The Royal Armouries in Leeds on Wednesday, the campaign fought off fierce competition from seven other shortlisted nominees in the category to be crowned the champion.

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “Northumberland is a fantastic place for a holiday and deserves to be much more well-known. Unique features of our county, like our dark skies, recognised by the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park Status, allow us to run exciting campaigns likes this one, on very small budgets, which attract new visitors to our beautiful county and result in significant economic benefit for our tourism businesses. We’re delighted that this has been recognised by this CIM Northern Award.”

Managing director of SD Advertising, Steve Davidson, added: “SD Advertising is delighted to be part of the team on such a prestigious campaign. We worked hard to ensure every penny of the budget was channelled to the target audience, delivering fantastic results to a part of the world we are all passionate about.”