For centuries the British circumnavigated the world, planting the Union Jack and naming places. In a PR and social-led 360 creative campaign to drive Chinese tourism to Britain, we invited Chinese people to return the favour!
Our research and insights phase uncovered that Britain was viewed by Chinese as cold and unwelcoming, losing out in tourist appeal against competing nations like France, the USA, Australia and Germany. Language was a large part of this unwelcoming perception, which we cracked as the basis for our creative, earned-influence driven idea.
We persuaded VisitBritain to extend a first-ever invite to the people of China - an opportunity to name the country’s places, people, events and icons in Mandarin Chinese. The Government would recognize the names. Google Maps would include them. Travel guides would be changed forever.
More than 13,000 often-hilarious names were submitted. Translated directly into English, these names included:
* Strong Men’s Skirt Party for the Highland Games
* Street of the Tall, Rich and Handsome for London’s famous Saville Row
* Tripe that Wafts Aroma for the Scottish delicacy otherwise known as haggis
* Porcelain Cheese for the legendary pungent English cheese, stilton
Immediate tourism benefits were felt with Chinese visits to Britain marked incredible increase. Significant contributions were also made to the British economy with Chinese tourist spend leaping to the highest level in past 3 years. And in many ways it marked the beginning of a bourgeoning Sino-British relationship, eventually heighten by the visit of President Xi Jin Ping to the UK in 2015.