30''_CoW Dine Outside_16X9_V9.mp4
Behaviour change + Content & creative for City of Whittlesea Local Council

Dine out(side)

Encouraging City of
Whittlesea residents to
get back to their local


The City of Whittlesea engaged Icon Agency to develop and deliver a promotional campaign to encourage local residents to eat, drink and think local in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign was a result of the numerous COVID-19 lockdowns Victoria endured and the subsequent impact on hospitality venues. In response to the pandemic, the City of Whittlesea proactively helped local businesses to implement ‘al-fresco’ style dining to encourage patronage.

Local cafe worker
Local cafe customer

Supporting the local areas
economic recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic saw the largest ever downturn in the hospitality industry, with local restaurants and cafes suffering anywhere between 50-90% decline in business during lockdown periods.

With outdoor dining cited as one of the biggest factors in patrons returning to in-person dining, the City of Whittlesea proactively helped local businesses to implement ‘al-fresco’ style dining to encourage patronage, as well as set up comfortable, permanent fixtures across suburbs for locals to utilise.

Icon was engaged to deliver an intensive and targeted marketing campaign to promote the Council’s support of all new dining facilities to support the area's economic recovery and re-engage the community.

Food collage

Navigating through difficult
trading conditions

Consumer confidence in returning to areas of even a low density of people following numerous State-wide lockdowns resulted in highly cautious tendencies within the Victorian population. To help combat the potential anxiety of local residents, the campaign needed to provide a reassuring and comforting tone around returning to local restaurants and cafes.

More so, after local businesses had endured almost two years of exceptionally difficult trading conditions, the campaign needed to be delivered in a timely manner to provide much-needed support. However, with lockdown conditions still turbulent, the campaign needed to land at a time suitable to restrictions and subsequent consumer confidence.

30''_CoW Dine Outside_16X9_V9.mp4
Dine out billboard image

Dine out(side) in the
City of Whittlesea

Icon developed a simple call to action to engage the community and local hospitality businesses - ‘Dine out(side) in the City of Whittlesea’. All supporting video, imagery and copy complimented the overarching idea of the great experiences residents can have eating, drinking and supporting local businesses.

The campaign put local business owners at its core, with three owners featured prominently as the hero talent. This bought an element of trust and familiarity into the campaign showcasing well-known faces locals know and love.

In light of the impact of lockdowns across Victoria, Icon had to be agile in its COVID-safe production approach, working within the confines of restrictions.

After numerous pivots, a one-day shoot was executed, working across three business locations and with their respective owners, capturing all content and imagery for the campaign execution.

An increase in business activity

Icon was thrilled to see the campaign come to life, with presence across all City of Whittlesea owned social channels, as well as with outdoor activity which targeted areas of interest and high traffic such as schools, high streets and shopping centres.

Following the rollout of a highly-targeted campaign and the increased consumer confidence due to the ease of lockdowns and the uptake of vaccinations, local hospitality owners reported an increase in business activity.

Initiatives from the City of Whittlesea to ensure a strong economic recovery continues, with the Local Council continuing to work with Icon on longer-term campaigns and initiatives to support local businesses.

Social tiles collage


  • Campaign creative ideation

  • Media strategy and channel planning

  • Video and imagery production

  • Social media content

  • Graphic design and asset development

Business engagement toolkit
Food collage