Cool Blue was tasked with creating a campaign that would create positive awareness of the scheme to develop up to 2,000 homes over a 10-year period and position George Wimpey as a company focused on innovative, good design and quality products. Our ‘Design Democracy’ campaign referred to the low-cost, high-design nature of the scheme and the community consultation programme that was key in informing each aspect of the development.
This coincided with designer Wayne Hemingway criticising the ‘Wimpeyfication of Britain’ in the national media.
Having seen those comments, we invited him to see some of the innovative projects for himself. Our bringing together of Wayne Hemingway and George Wimpey’s then MD, Ronnie Baird, led to the creation of the multi-award-winning Staiths South Bank development.
George Wimpey was praised for being keen on improving its products and services, while we used Wayne as a design collaborator and key spokesman throughout the campaign.
Wayne spoke at numerous events including at an art installation at the Baltic that was sponsored by George Wimpey; design-based discussion groups at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities; and at Urbis, the museum for modern living based in Manchester, as part of a debate on the future of modern housing. This featured on BBC Radio 4.
We set up a series of briefing events for businesses, community groups, media outlets and politicians to inform them of the plans and provide insights into the positive effects of the development. We also invited members of the local community to get involved in a promotional campaign, with volunteer Dunston residents appearing in brochures, advertising and newsletters.
We held launch events in Newcastle and London to ensure we got national and regional coverage of the Staiths and invited key figures to attend, with excellent turnouts from media and stakeholders.