Choreography of a campaign to cut it in the media

How the REKOM Night Index continues to be the go-to-source for key leisure trends in the UK

 One of Hudson Sandler’s most successful corporate and brand campaigns is the REKOM Night Index – the quarterly survey that, over the past five years, has become the bellwether report for the late-night leisure industry.

Our initial task was to position Peter Marks, Chairman of REKOM UK, the country’s largest late-night operator, as a trusted and authoritative voice in the industry. Our approach was to develop insight about the positive impact of the late-night economy to build Peter’s profile in national, regional and sector specific media. We created a quarterly survey to look at current consumer trends in attitudes and behaviours towards going out, to develop accessible and insightful content for media.

The tactic proved highly effective – Peter fast became a stalwart industry voice across the media. The latest REKOM Night Index, which examined the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on young people’s social habits, generated nearly 300 pieces of coverage across national, print, broadcast, regional and trade press, with highlights including BBC Radio 5 Live, Wake up to Money, Radio 4’s Today Programme, BBC News, Daily Mail, The Times, The Sun and Propel.

We’re all aware about how the cost-of-living crisis has taken its toll on businesses – particularly those that are consumer facing – and its impact has been further highlighted by the multiple headlines splashed across news pages over the past couple of years.

That’s why with the most recent Night Index, we wanted to assess how exactly the cost-of-living crisis has impacted people’s social lives – from where we go to the frequency of how much we go out, to even the types of drinks we consume and when.

Our client was particularly concerned about how the current economic climate is hampering the social lives of the younger generation.

Their concerns were voiced through the latest survey results which revealed that since Autumn 2022, over a third (34.9%) of respondents have reduced the amount of times they go on a night out. Nearly half (49.6%) of those said this was as a result of increased general living costs, followed by more expensive bills (42.8%) and the need to save any spare disposable income (33%). Increased rent came out as a main concern for over a fifth (21.19%) of those aged 25-34.

As September ushers in a new academic year, students old and new will be heading back to their university towns. To mark the start of term, Freshers’ Week – or Welcome Week as it’s been rebranded by some universities – will no doubt prompt students to engage in social activities, meet new people and attend a range of events in cities and towns across the UK over the coming month.

While this has long been a fixture in calendars for the UK’s late-night operators, there is a prevailing fear that young people will prioritise their finances over their social lives. Our survey revealed that pricing remains the critical factor for consumers when deciding whether to go on a night out – this in fact increased by 6% since our last survey in March 2023.

Industry figures like Peter Marks will be attuned to the trends in the market though.

He says: “We should take this survey as a warning to sit up and take note of what’s going on – we hope that these findings highlight to all those trading in the industry the importance of remaining flexible in responding to changes in consumer behaviours. People are predisposed to come together, have fun and spend time with friends – it’s up to us as an industry to ensure we provide the right environment and adapt our business model to enable that to happen.”

To hear more about the REKOM Night Index survey and how Hudson Sandler can deliver similar impactful campaigns, get in touch for further information: