Liverpool 2018 Brand Reveal: First Impressions

Liverpool 2018. Photo: Kirsten Hawkins

Liverpool 2018 Brand Reveal: First Impressions

The morning of Friday 4th November was no typical Friday morning – this was the day St George’s Hall caught a glimpse of Liverpool’s future as THE place to be next year as Culture Liverpool and Marketing Liverpool introduced their brand reveal for Liverpool 2018.

2018 celebrates the ten year anniversary of the Liverpool’s European Capital Culture win, 20 years of the Biennial and 30 years of Tate. Therefore, the city’s marketing experts are under pressure to satisfy the highest of expectations.

As a young student in 2002, I attended a summer school delivered by Liverpool John Moores University. Our group put together a video exploring the bid for the European Capital of Culture as part of our media studies project. The concept was no more than a mere twinkle of hope that someone might, at last, recognise our home city for other than a place of litter, riots and stolen tyres.

All our aspirations were hinged on this one event. Sadly I wasn’t around for much of Liverpool 2008, as this was my Erasmus exchange year.  So it’s lucky for me that the effects have lasted, with Liverpool even being recognised as the third best city to visit in 2014 by Rough Guide.

Nearly ten years have passed since that Capital of Culture milestone, so Culture Liverpool and Marketing Liverpool have come together to pull something mind-blowing out the bag, a magnificent offering to compete with London.


Yet, it must be understood that Liverpool 2018 is not a repeat of the 2008 celebration. Instead, it is a reward created by the city for the city. It is not simply an events programme; it is a commitment to the future of our arts, music and cultural provision. What’s more, it is a chance for businesses to get involved and increase the buzz.

To aid this, Culture Liverpool and Marketing Liverpool have launched a plan to lure more tourists to this city, focusing on four key audience personas and providing them with reasons to visit 365 days of the year so they can digest a medley of “incredible cultural moments.”

Robin Kemp, Head of Creative Development for Culture Liverpool , explains that these experiences are centred around “Liverpool as a stage,” and aims to “get global eyes on [the] city.”

The programme of activities boasts a diversity of music, arts and events including the Tall Ships Regatta, the Clipper Race finish. Plus, there are some unique projects yet to be announced involving high profile partners.

Events are based on the themes of the city’s international platform, work and industry, and a few of the city’s other big loves. I cannot do sufficient justice to the calendar, as so many aspects are top secret, but there will be more soon, including the potential for some long anticipated projects and returning favorites.

Having said that, the excitement for 2018 was palpable in the room during the brand reveal, and I firmly believe that, with those sentiments, Liverpool’s status can be elevated in the minds of those whose idea of Liverpool remains in the 1980s. Let’s hope that Liverpool can navigate away from its image as a party town and will continue its progression towards a capital of quality experience.