Canberra’s City Renewal Authority, the ACT Government agency charged with shaping the growth of the central parts of Canberra to make it a great place to live, explore and enjoy, has launched a new campaign led by Canberra marketing agency, Threesides Marketing, encouraging people to rediscover Canberra’s city centre, and to reconnect with their city’s Heart + Soul.

The campaign, Heart + Soul: rediscover your City highlights 11 diverse city centre businesses. It focuses on the people and personalities behind each business, why they love their city centre, what motivates them to do what they do to make it even better. Their stories are upbeat and personal. Like the businesses they own and run, they have substance and meaning.

These locally owned and run businesses represent a cross section of industries from hospitality and health, to retail and human services, located across the city centre from City West, to Civic and Braddon. The personal stories gathered through content and photography will be shared across the City Renewal Authority’s digital channels and in outdoor spaces across Canberra, encouraging visitors, workers and local residents to keep discovering new places in the city and the people that bring life to every corner of it.

Launched in August, the campaign features professionally photographed business profiles and videos, social media content with the media buy predominantly online complemented by limited out of home media throughout Canberra’s city precincts.

City Renewal Authority Director Communications and Engagement, Jennifer Ramsay, ​said developing the campaign to support city businesses during COVID-19 required careful consideration and guidance from city business owners.

“This year has been difficult for everyone, including Canberra’s city centre businesses. Our city’s passionate and dedicated business owners are working tirelessly to keep Canberrans safe by meeting physical distancing requirements and opening their doors to offer the products and services that are loved by locals,” said Ms Ramsay.

“With Canberrans encouraged not to undertake non-essential travel this is a good time for people to rediscover the amazing people and businesses that make up the heart and soul of Canberra’s city centre.

“It is important that we communicate that physical distancing is critical for public safety at the moment and at the same time, we can still enjoy the amazing places the Canberra City has to offer. We focussed on the people and places that make up the heart + soul of Canberra,” Ms Ramsay continued.

Todd Wright, Director and Founder of Threesides Marketing, said the creative is designed to look at Canberra City through the eyes of the locals who know and love the city. He says Threesides Marketing is very proud to be instrumental in the campaign concept, from development to implementation.

“We’re used to working on campaigns that are competing for the interstate tourist, the overnight spend or even the international visitor.  To focus all of our efforts inwards to our local population and encourage them to re-engage with their local community required a big shift in thinking from previous campaigns,” said Todd.

“We kept the idea simple – people are the heart and soul of any city. For Canberra, we aren’t trying to reignite the pre-pandemic peak hour hustle and bustle, we are trying to get people thinking locally about heading back to their old coffee shop, yoga studio or hairdresser and even extend their thinking to the ‘wellbeing’ services like a psychologist, job recruiter or even a local food providore that is supporting local growers and wine makers.

“Tapping into reigniting confidence in the local economy for both businesses and consumers, whilst being mindful of public health and safety, and considerate of the changing health situation across Australia led to many modifications in the timing, messaging and media buy for the activity undertaken.

“The early feedback on the campaign from other city businesses and stakeholders has been overwhelmingly positive and we hope to maintain this positive engagement for the ten-week duration of the campaign.” Todd closed.

More information on Heart + Soul: Rediscover your City:

https://www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/heart-soul

 See our business profile video content:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUXdAGLHFUx_cu8giYSryQ

https://www.act.gov.au/cityrenewal/heart-soul/business-heroes

 Campaign Credits:

City Renewal Authority
Jennifer Ramsay (Director Communications and Engagement)
Pat Rose (Creative Producer)

 Threesides Marketing

Lauren Allen (Project Manager and Creative Lead)

Todd Wright (Strategy and Creative Director)

Lauren Griffiths (Senior Content Lead)

Jon Shirley – Jon Shirley Creative (Graphic Design)

Adam McGrath – HCreations (Photography)

Ben Wade and Adam Grant – Missing Bits (Video Production)