Lead Agency


Contributing Company



The Challenge

Our 2015 award-winning campaign, London’s Official Guest of Honour, set out to find one lucky tourist to experience London like never before. Galvanising the whole city, the campaign brought together ambassadors such as Professor Stephen Hawking, actor Jim Carter, tennis ace Tim Henman and ballerina Darcey Bussell, reaching an audience of 300 million. A global success, the campaign added £10.6m to London’s economy and propelled London &
Partners’ marketing efforts onto the world stage.

The challenge in 2016 was two-fold, to raise the bar and build on previous success but also to apply our learnings to a new campaign that focussed on Spring, a time when visits to London are typically lower. How could we capture the imagination of the world to turn inspiration into flight bookings, encouraging potential visitors to come to London now ?

The Strategy

The world’s favourite city destination, London is unparalleled in its offering. From deep-rooted history and heritage to vibrant music, art and culture to the many famous faces that have called this eclectic city home. Though you might come as a visitor, you leave as a fan and in 2016, visitors had more reasons than ever to become a Fan of London.

Learning from Guest of Honour, we put real people, authentic stories and magical moments at the heart of our campaign but this time our strategy focussed on tapping into the world’s biggest and most passionate fan bases, aligning our content with topical events that demanded the world’s attention. The year 2016 afforded us an incredible opportunity with events and
anniversaries including:
• The Queen’s 90th Birthday • The 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare • The opening of the first ever exhibition dedicated to The Rolling Stones, Exhibitionism • And the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the stage play, in London’s West End

Thus we launched a search to find four of the most passionate and deserving fans of The Royals, Shakespeare, The Rolling Stones and Harry Potter.

The Implementation

We launched our quest for fans in the US, London’s biggest international visitor market in terms of volume and spend. In the meantime, we utilised our relationships with Shakespeare’s Globe and Historic Palaces and forged new relationships with the Warner franchise and iEC, the producers of  xhibitionism, to help us create money-can’t-buy experiences and make the dreams of our fans – to meet their idols – become a reality.

The stories of our fans and their special moments in London were filmed to create four short documentaries, produced by award-winning director, Miranda Bowen. The documentaries were released to coincide with peaks in the conversation helping to create PR spikes i.e. 90 days before the Queen’s 90th, Shakespeare 400 weekender, the opening of Exhibitionism in London and the world premiere of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Each film was launched with paid media support, native advertising across Yahoo channels in the US and media stories sold into titles in UK, US, France and China. The films were also supported by a competition to win one of four themed trips to London, allowing for data collection, and a dedicated microsite to explore London under each theme – Royals, Shakespeare and Theatre, Harry Potter and Music.

To encourage new flight and hotel package bookings we partnered with British Airways and Hilton hotels who each created their own thematic packages enabling all visitors to enjoy their own London fan experience. Through a joint media buy, users who had engaged with the films and campaign content were retargeted with a Fans of London branded booking message via Yahoo native advertising and partners’ owned channels.

The Result

The marketing and media efforts led to 5.9m views of the films with a staggering 42% AVR rate, 1.3m visits to, and 521k competition entries to win their own trip to London.

When surveyed post-campaign, 74% of respondents said they has visited or intend to visit London, adding an estimated £10.6m expenditure to London.
The campaign’s PR activity generated over 3,000 pieces of coverage in 39 countries. The media plan achieved a 31% better cost efficiency than guaranteed and surpassed all targets – sessions +43%, views +22% and
competition entries +65%.

Working within the four fan themes in partnership with global brands allowed us to tap into their passionate fan bases e.g. Warner posted the Harry Potter video to their film facebook page, which has a following of 73m, while
The Rolling Stones posted to their 2.3m twitter followers. Likewise, working with British Airways enabled us to access their in-flight channel reaching 1.2m passengers. The campaign was Hilton’s highest performing on social
and revenue far exceeded investment, generating over $1million in profit at last count. We succeeded in making our fans dreams come true, they told us: • Christine, Royal fan: “we are still waking up from this dream, this has
been beyond anything we could have imagined.” • Lori, Shakespeare fan: “to be able to connect to a city with the playwright I love the most really was a dream come true.” • Johnsons, Harry Potter fans: “we miss London very much, we talk of nothing else but returning.” • Alex, The Rolling Stones fan: “I had absolutely no idea what I was in for and the trip exceeded my expectations, leaving me smiling, inspired and ready to rock here.’