The Grade II listed City Baths is one of Newcastle’s hidden gems, designed by the city’s famous architect John Dobson and was one of the UK’s first Turkish baths. Registered charity Fusion Lifestyle set out to restore this culturally significant building, making it into a fitness, health and wellbeing destination fit for the 21st century.
Having successfully launched the £7.5m restoration and reopening, Cool Blue was tasked with planning and delivering an integrated campaign that not only cemented The City Baths as the go-to health and wellbeing destination in the city but also navigated the easing of restrictions post-lockdown as well as life beyond the pandemic.
Most of our previous marketing efforts had become redundant due to the closure of The City Baths from March 2020, however our new strategy was simple. Reposition The City Baths as the ultimate health and wellbeing retreat, located in the heart of the city.
What was once a predominantly media relations heavy campaign transitioned into highly targeted communications campaign, talking directly with members and prospects in a way that reengaged and reassured them.
Our strategy was split into two stages – communicating the easing of lockdown and repositioning the brand post-pandemic.
Our campaigns helped cement The City Baths as the go-to health and wellbeing destination in the city, a sanctuary where people can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Cleverly crafted communications increased brand sentiment and a personalised approach to outreach drove leads and sales, while added value activities helped build brand loyalty.
As the campaign continues to adapt and flourish, activity is geared towards continuously generating leads, driving conversion and increasing the membership base.
Our post-lockdown campaign, ‘Happy in the Heart of the City’, focused less on strenuous exercise and workouts and more on the importance of health and wellbeing. Messaging spoke to the frustrations of spending so much time at home and highlighted The City Baths’ location, accessibility and convenience.
Lines such as ‘At home workouts not working out’, made people consider returning to the centre, while messaging about The City Baths’ ‘covid-conscious approach’ reassured members that the team would keep them safe, while they kept fit.
As the campaign developed and confidence began to return, we repositioned the brand, building on the connections we’d already made and bolstering brand loyalty. Having coordinated aspirational lifestyle photography that brought pre-launch CGIs to life, we reinvigorated the brand identity with new tones, typefaces, and a refreshed strapline. Our content not only showcased the unique setting in which The City Baths resides, but also told the story of the members who make up the community.
Our #MeetTheMember campaign put people at the heart of our communications, introducing ‘Humans of New York’ style member profiles and showcasing real people, real bodies and real stories. With cleverly crafted copy and striking photography, our content offered a lifestyle, rather than a gym membership and showed people what they could achieve with The City Baths.
Alongside our day-to-day communications, we worked closely with the team to deliver added value to members beyond the core facilities, including in-centre events and partner discounts.
Ongoing partnerships and collaborations with other local businesses also helped deliver shared brand equity and drive new leads to site.
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