'This is Edinburgh' to put spotlight back on capital's city centre

A new campaign designed to attract families and shoppers back into the city centre of Edinburgh was launched today.

Targeted at residents of Edinburgh and people who live within a two-hour drive time of Scotland’s capital, ‘This is Edinburgh’ aims to increase footfall to the centre by two per cent above the national average. Running for the next two years, it is projected that the £1 million campaign will stimulate an additional £50 million spend within the city centre over that time.

Promising a ‘contemporary and cosmopolitan’ approach that avoids cliché and reflects the city as it really is, the campaign has been developed by Marketing Edinburgh, Essential Edinburgh business improvement district and City of Edinburgh Council, who are working together to boost the economic development of the capital.

TV, outdoor and online advertising will appear from Monday (24th February), focusing on the diverse and unique range of family attractions, shops, restaurants, nightlife and hidden gems that Edinburgh has to offer people of all ages.

Organisers will be extending the campaign to social media to encourage residents of Edinburgh to get involved and share their favourite places to see and visit. New city centre fashion and food events and exclusive discounts for local people on a range of shopping, days out and dining experiences will also be key to the campaign.

Celebrities including cyclist Chris Hoy, actor Freya Mavor, singer Nina Nesbit and chef Martin Wishart are also involved, sharing their own Edinburgh insider tips on http://www.thisisedinburgh.org.uk/.

City of Edinburgh Council leader Andrew Burns said: “Edinburgh is such a wonderful place to visit and this campaign quite rightly lets the city speak for itself, reminding people of the many fantastic and diverse reasons to spend time in the city-centre. The timing is ideal and it will act as great boost to the local economy.”

A survey undertaken last year revealed that whilst the quality of Edinburgh’s shops, restaurants and pubs were rated highly, 92% of residents questioned felt that the tram works had affected their enjoyment of the city centre. 28% said they had chosen to shop there less than a couple of years ago – but, in a recent questionnaire, 87% said that they were now open to coming back into the city-centre more often.

“There’s no doubt that the disruption Edinburgh’s experienced over the last few years has had an effect on its city centre,” said Andy Neal, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh. “But that’s all in the past now. Edinburgh’s back to looking its best and this campaign emphasises the many reasons why people should come and enjoy what’s on offer here.

“We think that those who live and work here will instantly recognise ‘This is Edinburgh’ as a real representation of the city centre; diverse, original and a unique experience.”

New events and activity are planned, including a fashion map of the city to be released in March, plus ‘dress-up stores’ where shoppers will be professionally styled and photographed. There will also be new film and fashion events over the coming months.

John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh added:

“When we set out to create the campaign, we spoke with lots of different groups, listening to their opinions on Edinburgh. Overwhelmingly our research found that residents had become very resistant and unresponsive to what they see as adverts of Edinburgh for the tourists. What did excite them however was the idea of rediscovering their city, finding its hidden gems and engaging in that conversation through social media.

‘This Is Edinburgh’ advertising was created by Edinburgh-based agency, The Lane. The first TV advert will air on Monday (24th February) at 7.45on STV during Coronation Street.

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