‘Buzzing to be back’ campaign encourages return to the city

A new campaign that promotes the safe return of workers to Manchester city centre has been launched, aiming to build confidence and trust, to promote the benefits of being in the urban centre, and to support employers as they transition their workforce back to offices and shared workspaces.

Titled ‘Buzzing to be back’, the campaign is led by Marketing Manchester – the organisation that promotes Greater Manchester to a global audience as a place to visit, meet, invest and study – and has been developed with support of strategic partners from the Greater Manchester Tourism Industry Emergency Response (TIER) group and in alignment with the messaging of the Safely Reopening GM campaign.

The paid digital campaign launches this week and will target Greater Manchester residents with ads across Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter that direct people to workinmanchester.com where they will find dedicated resources to help with their transition, including travel and wellbeing advice as well as information about what’s on in the city centre that they could tag onto their working day.

The campaign creative, developed by What Media, follows the working day of three unrelated characters, overlaid with distinct ‘living’ animations of Mancunian characters, landmarks, statues, street art and artwork, including illustrations by Manchester artist Stanley Chow, that workers will be familiar with and may have missed.

Sheona Southern, managing director at Marketing Manchester, said: “Office, retail, creative and hospitality workers are the lifeblood of Manchester city centre and cities around the world. During their working week they support our shops, our cafes and restaurants, our pubs and bars, and our galleries, museums, theatre and nightlife. They bring energy and vibrancy to our streets and squares and have a crucial role to play in helping the city’s economy recover after the pandemic.

“We hope this campaign inspires and motivates workers to both feel safe in their city and to be reminded of everything they love when working in it, as well as supporting city centre businesses from all sectors to help employees transition back to the workplace where they are returning.”

Thom Hetherington, CEO of Holden Media and GM TIER group member, added: “We know now that the world of work has forever changed, and while some people are back working in the city, for many working from home is here to stay.

“This campaign is not trying to tell people to go back to the office, but rather to encourage them to balance the convenience of home with the experience – the visceral thrill – of being back in such a vibrant, multi-faceted city like Manchester. It aims to inspire people to really make the most of their time when they do venture into the city: to go see that world-class exhibition or award-winning show; to try on that jacket or new pair of shoes in-person before buying; to meet friends for a ‘quick one’ at the old after-work pub before the train; or to eat in that restaurant that they’ve looked at so much online.

“As someone that spends a lot of time in the city, it has been fantastic to see it so busy at weekends – hotels, bars, restaurants are all thriving and enjoying the demand – but the city is open for business seven days a week, and whilst things like conferences and mid-week entertainment is building back some very welcome mid-week trade, your average weekday footfall now is still quite different to what it was 18 months ago. If people can, when they are next in the city, we want them to take the opportunity to plan something special and really enjoy all of those things and moments that they have missed over the past 18 months.”

Sam Picton, production director for What Media, added: “The work Marketing Manchester is doing to get the city back on its feet post-Covid is so important, we wanted the content to really capture the spirit of the city and remind people of the ‘buzz’.

“Working with Marketing Manchester has been a great opportunity to flex our repertoire, from shooting content across our beautiful city to bringing static assets to life through animation. The content is vibrant and colourful, and we believe really captures the heart of Manchester.”

To find out more, see workinmanchester.com.

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Notes to Editors

To view the campaign video creative, please click here.