[CASE STUDY] place marketing at Roeselare

by Basiel

The city of Roeselare is one of the best cities in Flanders when it comes to place marketing. With the #VANRSL campaign, it achieved unprecedented results, and even won a prize just across the border. This case study investigates what the key to the success of this place marketing campaign was.

#VANRSL is a campaign entirely aimed at the inhabitants of Roeselare. The goal of the campaign was to make the residents proud of their city.  This was a big challenge for a city with more than 62,500 inhabitants. The overall campaign consisted of several parts to reach this objective.

One of the campaigns was their own version of the song "We're from Barcelona", which has been translated into "Wieder zin van Roeselare" (means: We are from Roeselare). A song that was sung by different residents of the city. This jam became more than just a local hit and had quickly been noticed across national borders. At the Cannes Corporate Media & TV Awards it won a prize for its original video. This French award is a special recognition for corporate films.

Video of 'Wieder zin van Roeselare':

"If you're proud of something, you want to express it. Merchandise is actually a beautiful instrument, to show that you want to further radiate that pride." - Kris Declercq (Mayor of Roeselare)

The campaign did not stop with a song but also focused on one of the latest place marketing trends by using merchandise. A cool T-shirt with #VANRSL allowed the inhabitants to express their pride. This turned the inhabitants into ambassadors of Roeselare.

In addition to a song and merchandise, even more actions were set up specifically aimed at children and sports enthusiasts. There were also some campaigns with a focus on climate.

Inhabitants of Roeselare (Place Marketing - Merchandise Essentials)


The main success factor of the campaign was the fact that people shared it a lot on social media and by word of mouth. This is due to some stickers that can be found everywhere in the streets and a hashtag on social media. Next to this, the most important reason was the merchandise that made sure that the campaign was spread. The T-shirts were the perfect start of a conversation. The people talked about the clothes they wore and posted pictures of in on social media. This made people from surrounding cities know how amazing Roeselare is. 

We've made a list with 7 tips for cities to make the most out of their social media.


Stickers #VANRSL (Place Marketing - Merchandise Essentials)


In a nutshell: 

Making the residents proud by organizing different actions and making sure that they radiate this is the secret behind the success story of Roeselare. The main strengths of the campaign were merchandise, a song and a creative hashtag.

The end?


Merchandise Essentials with the major of Roeselare (Place Marketing - Merchandise Essentials)


For the mayor, the campaign didn't end with a T-shirt because Merchandise Essentials designed an all-over printed swimming shorts for him. The full custom swimming short we made were the perfect present to give for the opening of the new swimming pool of Roeselare. The major was very happy with this present.

Curious to find out where Roeselare ended up in the top 5 place marketing campaigns of Belgium? Then make sure you read this blog.

Ultimate place marketing checklist:

Download the ultimate place marketing checklist and make your campaigns as successful as the #VANRSL campaign. 




About Merchandise Essentials

In 2015 Merchandise Essentials consisted out of two young guys with big dreams. Working out of their parents’ living room they started turning those dreams into goals.

The living room became a 600m2 office space with a showroom. The two man team turned into a workforce of more than 30 young and talented individuals who are now designing and producing merchandise for brands and businesses in 43 countries.


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