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They announced this new marketing campaign on the opening day of last week’s Winter Olympia and promised a new and exciting visual campaign to energise the Spring fair, which is the most progressive but arguably the weakest of the three annual Olympias.

Recognising the international move away from traditional antiques to a more design-led decor, Clarion worked on their campaign with a creative, design-focused team acquainted with the fairs, Plinth.

Plinth, who now deal mainly with the interior design sector but cut their teeth at the Spring Olympia, are based at Core One in Chelsea, a relentlessly contemporary space, but they will exhibit at the next Spring fair from February 25 to March 2.

Plinth Design have at the centre of their new idea for Olympia promotion an eye-catching visual image which Clarion hope is challenging, thought-provoking and possibly amusing.

The photograph was taken by Jimmy Wormser who has worked on advertising campaigns for VW and Bacardi.

Clarion are determined to address the fact that for many the antiques market is perceived as specialist, expensive and not very fashionable.
They say: “In a world awash with advertising messages, we need to be as innovative and appealing as other brands in the marketplace in order to sustain the audience for fine art and antiques.”

They maintain the idea behind the new image is “to continue to appeal to our traditional audience, but also to educate and entice an audience that has not previously considered buying antiques.”

The Spring fair is the natural choice from the Olympia three at which to attempt an overhaul of their image. Such a makeover has been in the mind of Olympia and Earls Court chief executive Andrew Morris ever since he took over the company.

An attempt was made to instil a new dynamism into Olympia’s flagship Summer fair in June, but despite impressing some, the June fair is just too entrenched for a rapid makeover and too many traditional dealers form the bedrock of the exhibitors’ list to make any rapid rethink of marketing and display feasible.

The February fair is the obvious choice for experimenting with new directions since it already has a strong contemporary feel and far more adventurous exhibitors than at the other two.

It is also the fair about whose future Clarion Events are most concerned, and most observers would agree that if one of the three Olympias were to go then it would be this one .

Emphasising in their new promotion that they do not want to upset the established Olympia fairgoer, Clarion revealed just who is this typical Olympia animal. “Our traditional audience has an average age of 52 years, average income of £150,000 and owns two or more properties” their marketing department said.