From Bangor to Budapest, Wales and the world celebrated the fifth Welsh Language Music Day – Dydd Miwsig Cymru on Friday 7th February 2020 with a host of free gigs, special music releases and celebrity learners. We designed and delivered a multi-channel bilingual strategic communications campaign, securing coverage with The Guardian, BBC 5 Live and the world’s most listened to breakfast show, BBC World Service, convincing people miwsig was the perfect tool to learn a language.
For the fifth annual Dydd Miwisg Cymru, our team was tasked with delivering a fully bilingual, integrated PR and social media campaign that would have a lasting effect for more than an awareness day. Unlike previous Dydd Miwsig Cymru campaigns, 2020’s included the goal of also targeting the 80% of non-Welsh speakers and Welsh language learners specifically. This tied into an overarching objective and policy aim to reach 1 million Welsh speakers and double the daily use of the language by 2050.
We launched our PR campaign exactly three months before Dydd Miwsig Cymru, where we announced a partnership with the Noson Allan scheme, giving miwsig lovers in Wales the chance to host their own gig. From here, momentum started to build.
We set out to find strong case studies who’ve used miwsig to help them learn and could tell our story for us using their own personal experience. We identified three case studies- students from Norway, Finland and America- all passionate about miwsig being a great resource for learning Welsh.
We told their personal stories- as well as the learning journey of Gavin & Stacey actress and writer Ruth Jones – to craft our media story in the week of Dydd Miwsig Cymru, arranging over 15 individual interviews on a variety of outlets from BBC 5Live, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 to BBC Radio Wales.
We arranged for The Guardian to visit Cardiff and interview three powerful women at the heart of the miwsig scene- Hollie from the band Adwaith, Elan from Clwb Ifor Bach and Ashli from Spillers Records- resulting in an story on one of the world’s most visited and trusted news sites and big splash in the Saturday edition of the paper.
At the heart of all video content in 2020’s campaign was the messaging that miwsig is a great tool for learners. We created new films to add to already established series from previous campaigns such as My Miwsig and Miwsig Discovery, but casting well known figures that had a link to learning Welsh. This included Ruth Jones, a current learner fresh from the biggest show of Christmas 2019, who took us through her favourite Welsh language tracks and players from Wales’ women’s football squad, who have all been learning Welsh phrases as a team.
For 2020’s campaign, we also launched a new video series ‘Behind the Miwsig’. The concept originated from the idea that song lyrics can be a good way of picking up new vocabulary. We shot videos with aGwyn from Los Blancos, Kizzy Crawford and Hollie from Adwaith who all took us behind the lyrics of one of their songs. Punchy graphics translated the lyrics on screen to further help learners.
We organised three gigs, with a good geographical spread and one of which was the first Dydd Miwsig Cymru gig to take place outside of Wales in the UNESCO City of Music Liverpool. Welsh Music Prize winners Adwaith took to the stage at the British Music Experience wowing a crowd with many hearing Welsh language miwsig for the first time. We created a unique experience at the UK’s Smallest House in Conwy, arranging for artist Casi Wyn to sing accompanied by a harpist. Entry to the tiny venue was with a special token, exchanged for bespoke song chosen by the gig goer before they were personally serenaded. Finally, Radio 1 playlisted HANA2K and Al Lewis performed at St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff, which, with a footfall of several thousands, saw Welsh language miwsig put on a stage to the masses.
Social and online advertising was an integral part of the campaign. Our content drove audiences to listen to and share Dydd Miwsig Cymru playlists, attend a gig, visit Cymraeg’s website, inspiring followers to learn Welsh or engage with the language more.
We promoted our video content across Youtube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and scripted and recorded a special promotion voiceover by ambassador Huw Stephens for Spotify.
Business and stakeholder engagement
As well as gigs in Conwy, Liverpool and Cardiff, we arranged for Welsh language acts to perform at businesses including Eadyth at Dwr Cymru and Marks and Spencer, while Al Lewis performed over lunch time at Admiral’s head office – another location with a huge footfall. We engaged some of the UK’s biggest businesses- KFC, Co-Op, BT, EE, Lush and more- to play miwsig, use Welsh, host a gig or celebrate Welsh Language Music Day in branch.