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Mid & East Antrim Shaped by Sea & Stone

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

The Challenge

Despite having two of Northern Ireland’s iconic tourist attractions (The Gobbins & Carrickfergus Castle) within the Borough, Mid & East Antrim was not maximising its tourism potential. It lacked a sense of place, whilst also not leveraging its position on the word-famous Causeway Coastal Route. The region needed a unifying tourism brand, independent of the corporate council identity to signify tourism within the region, appealing to visitors, both international and domestic.

 

The challenge was to create a brand unique to this place, to tell stories rooted in what makes this area unique. A place shaped by its coast and landscape, a place shaped by its people and local hospitality. A place Shaped by Sea & Stone.

The Approach

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

 

This is a region of spirit and soulfulness, that celebrates its traditions while welcoming the future. A place that has been shaped by sea and stone – from its areas of outstanding natural beauty to its major seaports, from busy market towns to its breathtaking coastal road, the towering Norman walls of Carrickfergus Castle to the lush Glens of Antrim.

Brand identity

 

It was clear that we had plenty to work with. Our new identity for the region drew on its rich and fertile imagery and the stories people told us – a land Shaped by Sea and Stone. We set out to create a new identity, tone of voice, a suite of fonts and a consistent approach to imagery.

The Execution

These building blocks were just the beginning. We wanted to get under the skin of Mid & East Antrim, so we set out to collect stories from the people who call this region home and welcome visitors to explore it. Our content would reflect the living lore and legend that makes this place so special. It would live in visitor guides, online, on social and on outdoor.

Our approach was to create everything from scratch – from capturing stunning drone footage of the landscape and the natural beauty of the region. We crafted editorials and paired them with intimate portraits of the locals.

We had two big objectives when planning Mid & East Antrim’s new destination website – to launch the region’s new brand and to provide a resource for tourists looking to explore the region.

 

We created a new website structure and page hierarchy through initial concepting, sketching and wire-framing. We put our concepts through user testing and developed a final user interface. The result was a bespoke website built on Drupal - an open-source content management system. We chose this system because it would allow us to deliver on all the project's key requirements - and more - on a stable, secure and meticulously-tested platform.