Blackburn town centre BID’s ‘Brickburn’ campaign was a finalist in the ‘Public Sector’ category of North’s PRCA Dare Awards.
The PRCA Dare Awards look for the very best PR and communications campaigns across the UK, and the winners are chosen by a panel of highly-respected industry experts across seven regions and nations.
Blackburn town centre BID and Viva PR, who look after their digital marketing, submitted the award entry based on the world-exclusive PAW Patrol brick model trail event held in the summer of 2019, highlighting the positive impact it had on the town centre during the 10-day event.
Blackburn town centre BID, which was first established in 2013 and renewed in 2019 to support the businesses in Blackburn town centre, were just pipped to the top spot by LNER for their Intercity 125 High Speed Train Farewell.
The Blackburn trail encouraged families to visit the town centre, rebranded as ‘Brickburn’. A variety of businesses hosted one of the 15 PAW Patrol characters made of bricks, forming a trail across town centre venues including the retail parks. Six kitten figures also formed a self-contained trail in Blackburn Market.
Visitors were encouraged to find all the models and answer questions about them, with the opportunity to win town centre vouchers as a prize.
Over 17,500 leaflets were given out across the town centre – the equivalent of 20% of Blackburn’s population – and an average of 1,000 families a day were engaged with the trail. There was an increase in footfall of 20% week-on-week, and 7.8% compared with the previous month.
The event provided an opportunity for Catherine Price, Blackburn BID manager, who had only been in post since April 2019, to create links between the businesses, and support and promote BID members.
Catherine said: “The aims of the PAW Patrol Brick Trail were to deliver a fun, enjoyable and safe family-focused event; attract a new audience into the town centre; change outdated perceptions of the town centre and its businesses; and increase footfall and dwell time of visitors.”
The event had a strong marketing campaign across a range of media in the run up to the event, and the BID with its digital marketing and PR provider Viva PR engaged social media influencers to visit the event with their families and blog about it online.
Catherine added: “The Paw Patrol Brick Trail hit didn’t just hit our targets, it exceeded them. It also positioned Blackburn as a family-friendly town that offers events for any age, encouraging people to come back to the area.”
Earlier this year, the Brickburn PAW Patrol event was also shortlisted for a ‘Good Retail Award’.
Although Brickburn isn’t able to go ahead this year due to Covid-19, Blackburn town centre BID are planning its return in the summer of 2021 with an exciting new theme – ‘Brickosaurs’, Dinosaur brick models! Visit blackburnbid.co.uk or download the Experience Blackburn App to keep up to date with the latest activities and initiatives in Blackburn town centre.