What’s the story with Leeds Libraries?

This month has seen the launch of Clearsilver’s new marketing campaign for Leeds Libraries, a great piece of business that we pitched for earlier in the year.

Our brief was to engage with adults in the Leeds area, to raise awareness of the services available throughout Leeds Libraries, drive online and social engagement, and increase downloads of the Leeds Libraries app.

The motivation for this campaign was to demonstrate both the expected, and unexpected, facilities available at Leeds Libraries, and highlight how online resources make the library available to members at the click of a button. We needed to re-engage the target audience with a fresh, strategic campaign utilising both offline and online marketing.

As with any brief, we start by doing research, so my first port of call was the Central Library.

Admittedly it had been some time since I’d set foot in a library, but once I entered the building I felt like a kid in a sweet shop. I spent at least a few hours musing between the sports biographies, local history and art and design sections.

Once I’d been fully inducted I was introduced to how a modern library works. There is now the ability to download a smart phone app to search and reserve books, and free computer and WIFI access within the library. By the time I’d finished, I’d picked up five books and reserved a couple of albums.

That one visit had shattered any preconception I’d had of what the library was like, and now it was my job to try and convince others to follow in my footsteps.

My initial thinking was to try and create concepts that highlight the individual benefits that you might not expect of your local library. Things like the free WIFI, free access to computers, the app and the extensive range of events and activities on offer. This was leading to lines such as ‘It’s not what you think.’ and ‘More than just books.’.

I then thought about my own recent visit to the library and how it inspired me to read about things I otherwise wouldn’t have. It made me think about those who frequently use the library and what the possibilities are with such diverse and easy access to all that resource.

With all that in mind, we collectively came up with a campaign that would tell those interesting stories of real life members, featuring the library services that helped them individually. Stories such as Wayne Levitt, who researched his  family tree and discovered his connection to a local war hero, and Ma Maposa, who used the library to fulfil his dreams. Now the owner of his own business, he built himself a brand new life using the library facilities.

We then conducted interviews and a photoshoot with each Leeds Libraries ‘ambassador’, to give us a wide range of content and imagery to use in our advertising and social campaigns. Getting to meet these individuals on the shoot, chat to them and see how passionate they are about their library experiences reaffirmed that this was the perfect concept to engage with the people of Leeds. Using the hashtag #whatsyourstory on social media inspires others to come forward and share their own stories about the library.

Both Ma and Wayne are featured on billboards and lampposts around the area, the integration of a strategic advertising, social and PR campaign allowing Leeds Libraries to reach the heart of the local community.

If Leeds Libraries have made a positive impact on your life, or you think that one of your family members or friends would make the perfect Leeds Libraries ambassador, get in touch. Send in your story on social media using the hashtag #whatsyourstory, or send an email to whatsyourstory@leeds.gov.uk.


48 sheet


Lamppost banner


Tags: , , , , , ,

Paul Wojtas

Creative Director

Winner of almost a dozen industry awards, Paul’s career includes stints with agencies in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. As Head of Design for one of the UK’s leading recruitment advertising agencies, he worked with blue-chip clients including Adidas, Birmingham City Council, Boots, Britvic, BSkyB, HSBC, Manchester Business School, Morrisons, National Express, Next and Subaru. Paul worked with us on a freelance basis for a number of years before we finally persuaded him to join us full-time as our creative director.

Leave a Comment