Month: March 2017

British Library Case Study

British Library Case Study

Print Distribution for West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

The British Library asked London Calling to help promote their exhibition West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song. With over 90,000 postcards and leaflets to distribute as well as 500 posters to display, they were looking to create a complex, multiple-strand print distribution campaign running for a period of four months.

The British Library had created a range of printed marketing materials with two primary target audiences in mind;

  • Individuals with a West African heritage
  • Culturally-active ‘inspiration seekers’ looking for exciting cultural events to attend


The Campaign

In response to this brief, London Calling created a bespoke campaign comprised of 18 different distribution runs designed to reach the British Library’s chosen target demographics. We also displayed the British Library’s 500 posters in carefully-chosen community venues across relevant London neighbourhoods such as Peckham, Lewisham, Haringey, Tottenham and Brent.

To reach audiences with a West African heritage, London Calling displayed the British Library’s postcards in racks across a selection of our highly-specialised print distribution runs. These included our Black Literature, Afro-Caribbean and African runs. We also targeted specific neighbourhoods which are home to significant West African communities, such as Peckham, Camberwell, Brixton, Hackney and Barnet. In addition to this, we created two brand new bespoke display runs targeting specific West African community venues across areas such as Hackney, Newham, Lambeth and Lewisham. By including venues such as cinemas, local shops and hairdressers, we could reach the spaces visited day-to-day by the local West African communities.

In order to target the British Library’s other primary target audience of culturally engaged ‘inspiration seekers’, we arranged to display their leaflets across an array of our top cultural runs including our Museums and Heritage, Contemporary Culture and Libraries runs. This allowed us to place the British Library’s print in many of London’s most prestigious and high-footfall cultural venues including the likes of Tate, the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Battersea Arts Centre, reaching the most culturally-engaged inspiration seekers in the capital.

The Results

“The bespoke runs London Calling created for our West Africa campaign meant we could really reach exactly the audience we wanted to. As a result we attracted a substantial number from a West African heritage. With the help of London Calling we were able to bring in new exhibition-goers – just under a quarter of our West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song visitors had never been to the Library before.”

– Rachael Williams, Content and Community Officer at The British Library

London Calling distributed the British Library’s postcards and leaflets over a period of four months. The pickup rates for the campaign were exceptionally high, resulting in large visitor numbers to the exhibition. The British Library exceeded the target they had set themselves for reaching out to West African visitors. They were also able to reach a new audience of people who had never visited the venue before.

Distributing Print Marketing Materials with London Calling

If you would like to find out more about how we can place your print in front of your key target audiences, or would like us to create bespoke distribution runs for you, please get in touch with our friendly Client Services team at 0207 275 7225 or email

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