About the project

Period: May 2018

Client: St Ives Shopping Village

Project: Wool Week 2018 Activation

St Ives Shopping Village is a privately owned shopping centre on Sydney’s upper North Shore. The centre is a community hub and offers residents access to over 100 specialty stores as well as key retailers and important services.

the brief

Each year the Woolmark organisation engages retailers of wool products to take part in Wool Week. In 2018, St Ives Shopping Village decided to embrace the event with a centre-wide campaign.

St Ives Shopping Village is highly engaged with the local community and looking for ways to involve their customers actively in events and initiatives.

Our brief was to create an activation that would highlight Wool Week as an event at the same time as engaging the community with the centre.

the process

The centre has a focus on charitable activities so we wanted to create something that would tie in with the commercial event created by Woolmark at the same time as providing local community members with the opportunity to be involved in something that would give back.

Our solution was to create a community knitting drive that saw the centre set up two knitting stations where shoppers could sit for as long as they liked and knit scarves to be donated to the local women’s shelter.

our approach

  • Liaised with Woolmark to confirm details of Wool Week and organise merchandising for the St Ives retailers
  • Created an activation that involved members of the local community taking time out to knit scarves for people in need
  • Partnered with a local women’s shelter to receive the donated scarves
  • Collaborate with the local Neighbourhood Centre to provide knitting support to those who hadn’t knitted before
  • Accompanied the activation with a media campaign to local press and retail media

results

Although the Woolmark initiative ran for a week, the centre wanted to run the knitting drive for a month, incorporating Wool Week, to provide as many scarves as possible to the local women’s shelter.

The community feedback was overwhelming and knitters of all ages and genders took part in the activity

  • Approximately 400 scarves were either knitted or donated
  • Around 6 trolleys-full of wool was donated
  • The local press and retail media covered the story helping to spread awareness of the activation. The story was also featured in Shopping Centre Weekly, a global industry news site
  • Hundreds of local community members took part
  • When the initiative ended, at the request of shoppers, the centre retained one of the knitting stations permanently for locals to knit squares to be made into blankets

feedback

“We were really pleased with the results of this activation and campaign, which surpassed our expectations. We’re a centre that’s all about the community and, if we can include a way to give back we will always take the opportunity. The team at Underground Communications took our brief and created something well above a simple retail promotion that highlighted the products but also brought the community together for good. And, to have our customers embrace it as fully as they did, requesting that we keep the stations went well beyond what we expected.” Amy Edwards, Centre Manager, St Ives Shopping Village