Connecting to the Heart of the Community
In 1982, the Longmont City Council and the Longmont electorate created the Longmont Downtown Development Authority (LDDA) with a mandate to revitalize the City’s downtown commercial core. The LDDA encompasses 242 acres, spanning 1st Avenue to Longs Peak and Martin Street to Terry Street. Since 1982, more than $180 million in public and private funds has been invested in new and renovated buildings in the Longmont Downtown District. The mission of LDDA is to develop, support and promote a vital and valuable downtown Longmont. Through strategic development and programs, the LDDA makes downtown appealing to businesses, residents and visitors.
In the summer of 2020, three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was struggling with the realities of the virus and with trying – slowly and cautiously – to bring back some sense of “normal” to our lives. Retailers and restaurants, too, were grappling with ways to stay in business. Businesses in Longmont were as hard-hit as any and looked for assistance from local organizations such as the Longmont Downtown Development Authority for creative ways to accommodate restrictions while safely staying in business.
In order to allow for more space to walk, shop, and dine safely during COVID, LDDA closed one lane of traffic in each direction for several blocks on Main St. in the summer of 2020. While many residents and businesses saw this as a positive investment in the downtown Longmont economy, others viewed this as unnecessary and an inconvenience from a traffic and parking standpoint.
Our primary goal was to inform and invite people in and around downtown Longmont; inform them of the street closures and why they were implemented and invite them to experience the changes and visit their favorite downtown businesses.
Avocet started the campaign by developing a Brand Book and messaging strategy so that all teams involved were using the same playbook from a branding and creative perspective. The mantra “Bigger Hearts. Stronger Streets.” was developed to capture the emotional element of the initiative. This was followed by an awareness campaign including PR, social, direct mail, YouTube video advertising, and street banners and posters. Sentiment was tracked both anecdotally and via social comments which allowed Avocet to pivot messaging and tactics during the course of the campaign to immediately address questions and concerns.
The campaign had a reach of over 4 million. Audience sentiment was positive overall. In fact, the lane closures were so successful for downtown businesses that they were extended longer than originally planned.
TOTAL REACH = 3,289,842 (print and online)