1London1word | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to




Describe London in one word. Not too difficult is it? Maybe fun even? A creative challenge? Indeed, a copywriter’s challenge, to convey meaning in as few words as possible.

Now try to get one million people involved.

That was my task as part of our final project on the inspirational, inaugural DMA Future Writers’ Lab led by the talented award-winning Debi Bester. The brief was broad: use words to get an idea to reach a million. A fitting task, as the direct marketing profession is underpinned by ‘1:1marketing’ which has the power to actually go from 1:1 to 1,000,000.

I devised a campaign that was simple and straightforward: just give one word that sums up London for you. My theme had no international borders - anyone with something to say about London and able to converse in basic English over the internet could get involved. And I figured that was a lot of people, especially considering America is pretty huge and most Americans think England is awesome.

I didn’t suggest a positive or negative slant, I didn’t request rationale, I just asked for one word.

Twitter handle @1london1word, hashtag #1london1word and Facebook community One London One Word were dually set up.

(Note those, follow/like and join in!)

My strategy was to target influential London-themed accounts/groups such as Visit England, Visit London, London Zoo, London Symphony Orchestra, Anglotopia, Londonista, Boris Johnson, David Cameron, Capital FM and ‘game for a laugh’ celebrities such as Chris Evans. I also targeted some fun brands such as Nando’s and Ben&Jerry’s UK.

The responses and ensuing followers kept me on my toes. Glued to social media and refresh/notification buttons, I was experiencing campaign highs and lows 24/7. To maintain engagement levels I posted content including my favourite (tactical) daily word.

I focussed on Twitter as Facebook proved to be a bit of a non-starter. Nevertheless I posted on both platforms what was happening on the other.

The best results – in just 2 weeks:

  • 43 Twitter followers (not loads, but they have a combined follower base of 1.7 million)
  • Some really influential and relevant followers such as BatterseaDogs&Cats, London Steak Awards, London Symphony Orchestra, Totally London, Dutch centre, El Vaquero, Dojo app
  • Some really influential participants including Visit London, Visit London Espana, London Symphony Orchestra, London Wine Week, Pride in London, Walks of London
  • Around 50 London words tweeted including a pretty cool image of Tower Bridge made out of keyboard characters, tweeted by a coder just for the campaign (image featured above)
  • Retweets, likes, comments and favourites galore
  • All this at zero cost, just a heap of creative thinking and motivation by words
  • There was some disappointment, such as no response from Boris, Cameron, the Queen or Nando’s. How cheeky.

Creating and managing this campaign was time-consuming, but all mine and extremely rewarding. I figure 1.7 million followers of 43 followers and participation from top London influencers, all in about 2 weeks, is a success story. I have learned masses purely through experimentation (which is the whole aim of the Writers’ Lab, and has been a mighty success for all).

So what’s your London word? Tweet it @1london1word. The campaign is my baby and I can’t put it down.

By Emma Moreton

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.