Roald Dahl campaign in Wrexham wins a shopping centre “Oscar”

0
1238
From left, Purple Apple Awards host, BBC Radio and TV presenter Gemma Cairney, presents the merit award to Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre manager Kevin Critchley and Bewonder’s Sally Sookia watched by Revo president Giulia Bunting.

A jumpquiffing campaign to celebrate the centenary of children’s author Roald Dahl has been honoured with a national award at the shopping centre “Oscars”.

From left, Purple Apple Awards host, BBC Radio and TV presenter Gemma Cairney, presents the merit award to Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre manager Kevin Critchley and Bewonder’s Sally Sookia watched by Revo president Giulia Bunting.

The centrepiece of the month’s activities at the Eagles Meadow in Wrexham was an authentic Story Shack modelled on the one where Dahl used to write his scrumdiddlyumptious stories.

The campaign earned a merit award from the judges at the prestigious Purple Apple Awards.

The annual industry accolades run by Revo, which stands for Retail Evolution, recognise and reward effective shopping and town centre marketing within the UK retail property sector.

The project was masterminded by Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley and Sally Sookia, Assistant Head of the Bewonder agency, which is in charge of marketing at Eagles Meadow.

The duo attended the glittering ceremony at The Brewery in London where they were presented with the award by TV and radio star Gemma Cairney.

As part of the celebrations last year, there were weekly Imagination Seekers workshop sessions, inspired by the work of Dahl and approved by his estate.

They hosted by a special organisation known as the Ancient Guild of Tale Tenders whose mission it is to keep alive Dahl’s words.

Between the Imagination Seekers gatherings there were drop-in sessions when the Guardians of the Tales led story telling sessions from Roald Dahl books.

The Guardians, including librarian Cynthia Checkit Miss Gloria Sunbeam who read out Roald Dahl rhymes and poems, also led themed craft sessions with Roald Dahl book give-aways.

Tying in closely with the fun sessions was the annual Big Read being run by Wrexham Library, which was entitled The Big Friendly Read in honour of Roald Dahl.

When not being used for Roald Dahl events, the Story Shack was available to local charities as a showcase and to raise money.

Sally Sookia says the Roald Dahl campaign had clear objectives which looked to increase footfall and sales as well as creating a community oriented campaign with a focus on encouraging children to read with a series of colourful Roald Dahl-themed activities.

She said: “The feedback we had from retailers was of strong results from what was a highly successful event. I’m delighted Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre won a Purple Apple Merit Award for what was a highly successful campaign.

“The event celebrated the work of Roald Dahl and the wonderful world of words he created for his children’s books. We had our own Story Shack, modelled on the one Roald Dahl used to write in.

An equally delighted Kevin Critchley added: “I see the Purple Apple Merit Award as an excellent reward for all the hard work and effort put into marketing activities at Eagles Meadow over the year.

“The Roald Dahl Wednesday’s event was particularly good and it was great to see so many children and parents engaged with and enjoying the event.

“The free drop-in sessions which celebrated Dahl’s unique work were certainly very popular as were the themed craft sessions.”

“Shopping Centres must adapt to the constantly changing and dynamic retail environment. It isn’t all about sales and footfall. We also want to be at the heart of the community and helping children with literacy and encouraging young people to read and enjoy books is also important to us.”

According to Revo president, Giulia Bunting, the awards acknowledge high marketing standards.

She said: “The awards reassure retailers and other interested parties that shopping centre marketing is effective and provides excellent value for money.

“The Purple Apple Awards also reflect how marketers must constantly adjust to changing times, from ensuring their budget goes further and works harder, driving retailer sales and harnessing new initiatives including digital marketing.”