Shaped by Sea & Stone

A new brand platform, integrated marketing & communications plan and digital content strategy for Mid and East Antrim.

It is often the undiscovered and underappreciated places that make the best destinations. It is here that you find the real spirit of a region – nothing put on, nothing pretentious, nothing so packed out that you spend all your time in queues. Instead you have the time and space to discover the spirit of the place you are in. You find the things that make it special, the stories, the people, the food, the pubs, the landscapes, and the history – the hidden gems that make an experience unforgettably unique.

In 2018, we had the pleasure of partnering with Mid & East Antrim to help develop and coordinate an integrated marketing and communications plan for just such a region.

Around every corner in Mid & East Antrim is a building filled with history, a shoreline to take the breath away and a community in harmony with the land and the sea.

It is a region of spirit and soulfulness, bound to the traditions of the past and embracing the excitement of the present. It is at the core of what it means to be in Northern Ireland. It is at the centre of our reputation for heritage, history and hospitality. It is a place where people are grounded, authentic and confident in themselves. A place connected to the land, the elements and the spirit of community they are the very essence of a country that is welcoming the world.

It is a place Shaped by Sea & Stone.

Our partnership Mid & East Antrim kicked off with us creating a new identity for the region – Shaped by Sea and Stone - New identity, logo, fonts, and a consistent approach to imagery.

The stories from the past make us who we are. These are not tales from forgotten times, rather they are part of living lore and legend, fantastic, familiar and flourishing. This was the starting point for us when it came to creating content for this region. Content that would live in visitor guides, online, on social and outdoor. Our approach was to create everything from scratch, from capturing stunning drone footage of the landscapes and natural beauty of the region to crafting editorials and pairing these with intimate portraits of the locals that make Mid & East Antrim unique.

When planning the new website, we had two main considerations – launch the regions new brand positioning and to act as a resource for tourists looking to explore the region.

We understood that as part of this project there would be a requirement to work closely with the Mid & East Antrim to understand their region and to ensure that the content that users wanted to find was easily accessible. An analytical review of the previous council website and the user activity highlighted to us what users were interested in most when visiting the website and this research formed the basis of our content and user experience (UX) approach to the new website.

Through initial concepting, sketching and wire-framing, we created a new website structure and page hierarchy and through user testing, developed a final user interface design for the new website.

In the end, we created bespoke website for Shaped by Sea & Stone, built on Drupal, an open source content management system that we identified would allow us to deliver on all the project's key requirements and more on a stable, secure and meticulously tested platform.

Our solution for www.shapedbyseaandstone.com is a beautiful, user-friendly experience digital experience, one that leverages using full screen video and imagery and content to engage the user and bring the region to life. The website for Shaped by Sea & Stone contains everything you need to know about the region, and it is the primary source for the user to learn more.

The full brand campaign launches at the end of January with media choices including targeted search, paid social including Facebook and Instagram and OOH throughout Northern Ireland including digital formats.