British Library

The Challenge

The British Library wanted to raise awareness with their exhibition West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song.

Its primary target audiences were:

  1. Individuals with a West African heritage
  2. Culturally-active ‘inspiration seekers’ looking for exciting cultural events to attend

The Strategy

With over 90,000 postcards and leaflets to distribute as well as 500 posters to display, they were looking to create a complex, multiple-strand print distribution campaign running for a period of four months.

London Calling created a bespoke campaign comprised of 18 different distribution runs designed to reach the British Library’s chosen target demographics.

To reach audiences with a West African heritage, London Calling displayed the British Library’s postcards in racks across a selection of our highly-specialised print distribution runs. These included our Black Literature, Afro-Caribbean and African runs.

These were supplemented by targeting specific neighbourhoods home to significant West African communities, such as Peckham, Camberwell, Brixton,
Hackney and Barnet. In addition to this, we created two brand new bespoke display runs targeting specific West African community venues across areas such as Hackney, Newham, Lambeth and Lewisham.

In order to target the British Library’s other primary target audience of culturally engaged ‘inspiration seekers’, we arranged to display their leaflets across an array of our top cultural runs including our Museums and Heritage, Contemporary Culture and Libraries runs. This placed the British Library’s print in many of London’s most prestigious and high-footfall cultural venues including the likes of Tate, the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Battersea Arts Centre.

The Results

The pickup rates for the campaign were exceptionally high, resulting in large visitor numbers to the exhibition.

The British Library exceeded the target they had set themselves for reaching out to West African visitors. They were also able to reach a new audience of people who had never visited the venue before.

“The bespoke runs London Calling created for our West Africa campaign meant we could really reach exactly the audience we wanted to. As a result we attracted a substantial number from a West African heritage. With the help of London Calling we were able to bring in new exhibition-goers – just under a quarter of our West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song visitors had never been to the Library before.”
– Rachael Williams, Content and Community Officer at The British Library