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The team at GottaBe! Ethnic headed down to London to support Diwali on Trafalgar Square with Western Union. The vibrant celebrations, organised by the Mayor of London and supported by the Diwali in London Committee, were free to enjoy and open to Londoners and visitors of all backgrounds. 

Along with Western Union we were tasked to add value to the event for visitors and connect our activity to key important features of Diwali celebrations. We knew that by adding value to the event and creating a positive experience for those attending they would attribute this celebration and positive experience with the Western Union brand.

Western Union is a brand whereby they are providing an essential service, it is important for their brand to be trusted and as the consumer recognises the need for the service Western Union are the first brand they think of. This is why experiential marketing is incredibly powerful for the brand as it builds a strong, personal relationship with the consumer.

What is Diwali?

Diwali is a religious holiday observed by more than a billion people across faiths (Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists). The five-day festival of lights brings prayer, feasts, fireworks, and, for some, a new year. Diwali is a time to celebrate the triumph of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil. 

The holiday is best known as the ‘festival of light’ and each day of the festival has a purpose. Here are the 5 days of Diwali:

Dhanteras

The first day of Diwali begins with the worship of wealth. The Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped on this day. People clean and decorate their homes and there is a custom to purchase something precious such as gold. 

Naraka Chaturdashi 

The second day of Diwali is called Naraka Chaturdashi. People wake up early and apply aromatic oils before taking a cleansing bath to remove all sins and impurities. They wear new clothes, offer Puja and enjoy by lighting Diya’s and letting off fireworks.

Lakshmi Puja

The third day is the main day of the Diwali festival. Lakshmi Puja is dedicated to the Goddess Lakshmi who is believed to enter homes and bless people with good fortune. Tiny oil Diya’s, candles, and electric lights are placed around the house to welcome prosperity. 

Govardhan Puja 

The fourth day of Diwali is known as Govardhan Puja. It is the day when Lord Krishna defeated Indra by lifting the huge Govardhan Mountain. People make a small hillock, symbolising Govardhan, and worship it.

Bhai Dooj

The fifth and last day is Bhai Dooj. On this day sisters invite their brothers for a lavish meal and perform a ‘tilak’ ceremony. Sisters pray for their brother’s long and happy life while the brothers give gifts to their sisters.

What is Diwali on Trafalgar square?

Diwali on Trafalgar Square is run by the Diwali in London organisation and is backed by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Diwali in London is committed to sharing the best of Diwali with Londoners and encourages participation, fresh thinking, and increasing awareness amongst the community.

This year’s Diwali on Trafalgar Square Event was held on Saturday the 23rd of October. It was broadcast on the big screen at Trafalgar Square, and it is still available to watch on the Diwali in London website!

The event saw Vegetarian Food Trucks/Vans and Light Effects as well as arts and craft stools and performances. 

“Our experiences over the past 18 months have reinforced the importance of the themes at the heart of Diwali: the symbolic victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, and good over evil.” Mayor of London 

Western Union

Our team along with some of our talented brand ambassadors supported Western Union at the celebration. The activation saw brand ambassadors deliver samples to the crowd and provide arts and crafts in the Western Union tent. Diwali on Trafalgar Square saw huge success with crowds of over 16 thousand across the day. 

What is a Rangoli?

Rangoli is a form of art in which patterns are created on the floor or a tabletop traditionally using materials such as powdered limestone, red ochre, dry rice flour, coloured sand, quartz powder, flower petals, and coloured rocks. 

At Diwali on Trafalgar Square, our brand ambassadors offered Rangoli arts and crafts alongside our Western Union stall which also had photo opportunities, giving families the opportunity to have a printed photo of their Diwali message.

Our Diya Tribute

The WU stand provided free tea lights which were to be placed in the famous Trafalgar Square fountains, the floating tea lights provided the opportunity for the public to write messages or prayers. The tea lights represent the traditional Diya which is an important part of prayer, and it signifies purity, goodness, good luck, and power. The presence of light means the non-existence of darkness and evil forces.

Associating our activity with key religious meanings was an extremely powerful way of amplifying the brand message” Tomasz Dyl, GottaBe! Founder and Managing Director explained.

“Having the opportunity to show customers the brand has an understanding of their culture helped us massively at the event to make a deep emotional connection with consumers that we can be sure will only add value for Western Union when we review customer acquisition and loyalty post-event” added Martin Rothwell, our Client Relations Lead.

As the day went on and the sun set, the fountains were full of coloured lights, images of the activation were shared across the Mayor of London’s social media to his thousands of followers.

Not only did the activities we hosted at Diwali on the Square present a nod to the religious celebration but it was also important activities related back the Western Union’s service offering. The idea of sending messages, be-it through our floating Diya’s or print out photo messages, to those who weren’t physically with their families for the celebration linked perfectly to Western Union’s service. The money transfer services allow you to support and send money to family who aren’t with you and therefore we wanted to creatively and discretely link the two.

The team was pleased to support our client Western Union once again in reaching a multicultural audience. We had a great time at Diwali on Trafalgar Square! Send any of your photos from the event to @gottabemarketing on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

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