Lockinge Day is the highlight of Newbury Racecourse’s Flat racing season featuring some of Europe’s finest thoroughbreds going head-to-head in the £350,000 Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes. It’s a key meeting for the racecourse, with higher ticket sales targets than for any other Flat meeting. Newbury asked us to develop an advertising creative that elevated race-goers perceptions of the event above other race meetings.
We have been working with Newbury Racecourse since 2015 on advertising and strategic brand development. This included the advertising for the race meetings in the months immediately preceding Lockinge Day. Shown below are the creatives for the Winter 2015/2016 jump racing meetings:
Where this campaign was effective in reaching the core audience of racing enthusiasts, the Lockinge Day campaign needed to attract a wider audience. As well as the regular race goer, the target market was also broader, those interested in an enjoyable day out, not just in horse racing. The campaign needed a visual focus that would have an immediate impact with this wider audience. In a word, the campaign needed Frankie.
Frankie Dettori is the most recognisable face in racing. He is also a previous winner of the Lockinge Stakes. The photograph used in the campaign was taken after his win at Newbury in 2014. The entertainment factor was conveyed by the shots of the animated crowd enjoying the excitement of a day at the races. The purple colour was used to give the creative a more prestigious feel while the headline refers to the length of the feature race – one mile.
The campaign was rolled out through local poster sites, press advertising and online. An associated video was also made by specialist video production company Equine Productions that was served on social media and Sky AdSmart.
The key measure of success for the campaign was advance ticket sales. As of today (2 weeks before Lockinge) ticket sales are 66% up on this time last year.
The campaign has also been successful in meeting the long-term strategic goal of elevating the Lockinge Day meeting to being on a par with the other key fixture in Newbury’s calendar, the Hennessey Gold Cup.
Canvas Studio’s creative has been instrumental in positioning the Lockinge Day meeting as a marquee event in our calendar. David and James understood our strategic goals, and delivered a campaign that puts the Lockinge meeting on track to joining the Hennessey Gold Cup as being seen as not just a race meeting but a social occasion.”
Rob Boobyer. Head of Marketing, Newbury Racecourse
This has given Newbury two key meetings in their calendar with higher advance ticket sales from a broader demographic and with a knock-on ‘halo’ effect on sales across the rest of the calendar.
Update: Very proud to say this campaign’s been shortlisted for the Racecourse Association’s Showcase Award in the ‘Best Campaign’ category.
Updated update: We won! ?