The Challenge

Australind Shopping Centre has been the hub of the Australind community for many years. thebox were approached by Managing Agents, VPG Property, to create a promotional plan to obfuscate the arrival of a new shopping centre giant ‘Eaton Fair’ which opened some 2 kilometers away. The new centre had the potential to affect the Australind Shopping Centre tenants in the short term prior to the Australind Centre’s refurbishment which would commence in 2015/16.

The Idea

We know that people love to buy – but hate to be sold and as a good corporate citizen, VPG understands the powerful relationship it has through the shopping centre with the community. Based on this we created a Paperzine (Paperzine [pay-per-zeen] noun – a publication similar to a magazine, printed on newspaper) which would communicate the lives of those who occupied the Centre, making the community familiar with the people. Demonstrating that the Centre existed to help the community and that they valued their association with them. The idea was not to SELL but to engage and inform.

The Solution

thebox investigated the likely impact created by the opening of a new major shopping complex on the Village Shopping Centre’s tenants and the local community of Australind; the centre’s core and tertiary functions; how community groups helped local people; the centre as a meeting place; the habits of local shoppers, and found that, as with most local centres, customers were familiar with the store owners and in some cases knew them by name. But did they know them as real people?

A ‘Paperzine’ was created entitled ‘Village Life’ which focused on the tenants at the Australind Shopping Centre. It would contain a personal story on each tenant across a number of editions to create awareness and build better interactions. Using big colour photos as a magazine does, the paperzine would be free of advertising. To ensure maximum engagement, thebox would have it delivered to each household in Australind and the surrounding areas. The contents would include a children’s and an adults’ puzzle page; a community page for local sporting groups, schools and events plus a recipe featuring the fresh food of the season. Locals could read about the store owners and perhaps discover some personal information about why they chose to live in the village and what their business means to them. thebox believed this would build familiarity, create loyalty and make for a friendlier experience helping the community further engage with the Centre.

The Last Word

The first edition was mailed in November 2014 and was an immediate hit. The centre has not lost business, in fact foot traffic has increased and the community is learning more about themselves and others. The ‘Village Life’ has more editions in the works, due for delivery in 2015 and 2016. New tenants will be interviewed and photographed and more engaging stories created. As we said, “People love to buy, but they don’t like being sold” and this campaign has proved that statement beyond our wildest dreams.

What We’ve Done

  • Concept Development
  • Campaign Development
  • Name Creation
  • Design
  • Printing
  • Photography
  • Media Planning & Buying
  • Copywriting
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