One way to get people back into the High Street is to sing to them, a siren’s call if you will. That is what Visa is attempting to do with its Christmas 2019 campaign, which features real independent shopkeepers singing Queen’s Somebody to Love.
The campaign is supporting the UK’s independent retailers for a second year, says the payment company and is a rallying cry to UK shoppers. The campaign is encouraging people to switch their focus from what they are buying to where they are buying, urging shoppers to show their local high streets some love this Christmas and beyond.
The TV advert features 13 real shopkeepers – including a bookseller, greengrocer, antique dealer and café owner - singing Queen’s Somebody to Love. The campaign will put the spotlight on more than 150 independent retailers nationwide, including featuring them in personalised adverts on prime city-centre billboards as well as geo-targeted ads on social media.
The campaign also features a nationwide competition inviting shopkeepers to warm up their vocal chords and recreate Visa’s Christmas advert to show why ‘Where You Shop Matters’. The winning retailer will see their advert air during a prime-time advertising slot in the run-up to Christmas for millions to see.
Research commissioned by Visa found that seven out of ten consumers (73%) say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with two fifths (42%) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason.
Spending time with friends and family (22%) and offering a sense of community (21%) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50%) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community. Independent retailers echo this positive sentiment with almost three quarters (73%) optimistic about the future of their high street, up from 52% in 2018.
Jeni Mundy, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa explains: “High streets and independent retailers are at the heart of communities across the UK, providing employment and acting as the driving force behind local economies. That’s why, through our Christmas campaign, we want to inspire people to visit and support their high streets, not just over the crucial festive period, but throughout the year.”
“We’re really excited to invite independent retailers to come together and recreate our advert, showcasing the best of the nation’s high streets and why Where You Shop Matters to them. Through our campaign, we want to inspire everyone to shop locally this Christmas. Together we can all play a part in setting our high streets and communities up for success in 2020 and beyond”.
One of the stars of the 2019 campaign is Dodie Finamore who works in family business, Finamore, an antique and furniture restoration shop run by her Father. The store is long-known in Walthamstow as a local treasure-trove for unique and vintage finds.
She says: “I’ve been involved in the family business since I was a baby, having been born in a flat above the shop. Everyone on the high street has watched me grow up and I’ve seen how it’s evolved over the years too. It’s true that Christmas is such an important time for us small independent businesses, and I’m thrilled to be working with Visa on a campaign that has such a supportive message behind it.”
Finamore adds: “We’re a close-knit community of shopkeepers in Walthamstow, and do our best to support each other to succeed. I just hope they don’t get too much of a shock when they see me singing on the TV.”