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CX & Design, News February 13, 2020

Dept partners with Manchester's Digital City Festival


Dept is gearing up for a city take over a campaign aiming to drive widespread brand awareness across Manchester. With the message ‘Accelerate Your Digital Reality’, Dept is provoking Mancunians to step up their game in design and technology. The message is communicated in a creative way, captivating peers in the industry and enabling them to experience the many dimensions of Dept.

Brian Robinson, Managing Director of Dept UK, said: “Manchester is establishing itself as a global hub for tech innovation. It’s an exceptional city to accelerate business and Dept is committed to driving the industry forward, through laying the foundation for future growth. We’re proud to be part of Digital City Festival; it combines creativity, technology and data seamlessly, similarly to the approach Dept leads as an integrated digital agency.”

The core of Dept’s campaign is centered around the agency’s involvement in the Digital City Festival with various activities planned between March 9th and 13th of this year. 2020 marks the first year of the festival, combining three flagships events into one with ambitions of becoming the top UK’s industry showcase.

In a Prolific North article published about the event, Dept was referred to as the Digital City Champions for the agency’s mass involvement. 

“Digital City Festival provides a platform for Dept to give back to the industry by sharing knowledge in our talks and events, as well as connect skills and resources on a local level. Dept is stepping forward in a big way that showcases our global brand philosophy of encouraging people to enjoy what they do, work hard and celebrate success, said Jake Welsh, Creative Director of Dept in the UK.

Throughout the festival, Dept is exhibiting in the eCommerce Zone at Digital City Expo with an experience-led stand that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And also within the expo venue, Dept is sponsoring the central bar, a 360-degree meeting point which will feature a DJ all day on both days. Here, Dept will also host the official exhibitors’ drinks at the end of the expo’s first day. Later that evening, Dept has organised a free afterparty – Cross The Line – at Manchester’s coolest new venue, Viadux, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Convention centre with delicious food from the True Reds BBQ truck to enjoy alongside some bevvies and sounds of the Kultura Collective DJ sets.

As the Digital City Champions, Dept is running two fringe events. The first is ‘Architecting the modern digital experience’, held on March 10th at Dept’s office in Manchester, and covers how headless will be the foundation of modern digital experiences. The second, hosted on March 13th, is the official Coffee4Craig brand launch.


The fun doesn’t stop there! On the second day of the expo, in the Keynote Theatre, Jake Welsh will lead a talk on the subject of ‘Redefining creativity for the digital consumer’, using human-first creativity crafted by data. The sponsorship session, which closes the final day of the two-day expo, will also feature Katy Leeson, MD of Social Chain; and Natasha Kosoglov, Mobile Performance Lead at Google. See the full agenda here. Finally, at the Digital City Festival Awards later than evening, Dept is will be present with a team cheering on the winners. 

The city takeover campaign, running concurrently alongside the festival, was designed to give the wider Manchester community a flavour of Dept with creative video assets, supported by graphics and content produced by the agency. It strategically taps into Manchester OOH displays and increases visibility during a peak point in the industry with organic and paid social media, and digital marketing, as well as leveraging industry and university partnerships.

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