The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

Delivering impactful creative campaigns year on year, we built upon a five year marketing strategy to push the brand and keep ticket sales rising.

  • Campaigns
  • Digital & Mobile

The challenge

‘The festival is free, dynamic, ebullient, rebellious and enduring.’

Our challenge for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was to capture this in a way that would drive increased awareness, attendance, participation and sponsorship. But can you possibly badge a brand like this without diminishing its spirit?

We needed to develop a brand campaign with the longevity to work for the festival over the course of 3-5 years but the flexibility to stay fresh for that period of time and the stretch to do something spectacular to mark the 70th anniversary in style for our 2017 campaign.

Ever evolving

Because of this dynamic spirit that ensures that the festival stays fresh, it would have been easy to change it’s messaging yearly, to suit objectives. Naturally, we were keen to avoid the brand fragmentation that this constant change can sometimes lead to.

So starting in 2015, in collaboration with the Festival directors, we developed a 5 year Brand strategy and an overarching brand proposition of ‘Defying the norm’, which gave us a root from which to cling, while still allowing the creative space to breath and evolve along with the brand for years to come.

This proposition was and still is very much about capturing the ethos of the festival. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is proudly the world’s biggest platform for freedom of expression and for 70 years it has been challenging convention, pushing boundaries and standing up for acceptance and inclusion. This message was our starting block for 2017’s campaign.

The Fringe core values of free speech, diversity and inclusion really struck a chord within the world we live in just now. So we felt that this year over any other it was important to stand up for those values, and defy this new norm.

Lisa Goldie


Stand up for your beliefs

In line with the 5 year strategy, in 2015 and 2016 we told the world that the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was ‘defying the norm’ so the festival’s 70th birthday felt like the perfect time to move into demonstrating this and show the world how they defy it.

This came in the form of The Alliance of Defiance, a creative route that focused on a humanistic passion for standing up for what you believe in whatever that may be. A bright colour palette and powerful yet playful copy embodies the festival’s spirit of collective togetherness but stayed true to its ethos of freedom, individuality and expression.

The Whitespace team felt it was important to work with a photographer who values that ethos as much as we do ourselves and so together we created an above the line campaign with the flex to be utilised across smaller digital formats whilst packing enough punch to stand out in the national press, on the London Underground or on Edinburgh’s own huge 96 sheets.

A great deal of craft has gone into these striking images. As well as a talented photographer, we needed a team of stylists and makeup artists to help bring our vision to life. Fully clothed, the models were painted from head to toe in an attempt to communicate the free and expressive nature of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Robbie Kerr

Senior Designer

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