Torpedo Juice helps revive The Pantiles.

It’s been a busy summer on The Pantiles, the historic heart of Tunbridge Wells – and for Torpedo Juice, the Pantiles-based creative agency that has been integral to this summer’s attractions. A series of successful events were staged, pulling in locals and visitors, and the regular markets have been rejuvenated.

The Pantiles revival can largely be credited to the new forward-thinking committee of The Association of Pantiles Traders (APT), working closely with Torpedo Juice.

The Association itself was rebranded and a Twitter account set up @pantilestraders. Social media has provided an invaluable and cost effective means of providing instant news to an interested local audience. The Twitter name, flagged up on traditional marketing materials: press ads, posters, banners and postcards now enjoys a healthy following. Managed by Torpedo Juice, the Twitter account has also allowed potential visitors to check details and provide – happily mostly positive – feedback on events and the new mood of The Pantiles.

The general markets have been boosted by Torpedo Juice’s ‘Clever Little Piggie’ marketing campaign.

The most ambitious event for the Traders was held in May with the inaugural Pantiles Food Festival, attracting 50 stallholders selling fresh local produce and delicious hot food. With a road closure in place, the stalls ran throughout The Pantiles and into Union Square – keeping the 8000 plus visiting foodies entertained and well fed.

Having created the Food Festival logo, Torpedo Juice marketed this event with an extensive and successful PR programme, secured celebrity chef Richard Philips as the event’s patron and created a traditional marketing campaign spanning press ads, a 60,000 postcard drop, posters and banners.

At the event itself a series of talks and demos was also on offer, along with demonstration from local chefs on the alfresco kitchen, constructed on the bandstand; the centrepiece of the weekend – this was also managed by Torpedo Juice.

Happily the sun shone, but with crowds arriving from 10am, it was clear the marketing of the event had reached a wide, interested audience.

Looking to capitalise on the success of the Food Festival and keep the momentum going, Torpedo Juice organised and event managed the first Pantiles Vintage Fair in July – as the next APT event.

An eclectic range of vintage decorated stalls took over The Pantiles, with most of their stallholders – and many of their customers - dressed in vintage style.

Torpedo Juice had recently opened its own vintage concept store on The Pantiles above its basement office at number 29 – the directors Gaynor Edwards and Jez Timms being fans of retro design, as indicated in their creative client work.

The concept store, selling design classics from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, called Stuff & Good Sense, offers Torpedo Juice a platform to work on experimental marketing and to launch and test sub-brands that fit in with the shop’s ethical and design values. The Vintage Fair was a way of raising awareness of the shop as well as promoting The Pantiles as a shopping destination.

Being an area of expertise, the marketing and event management of The Pantiles Vintage Fair was a labour of love for Torpedo Juice. The historic bandstand again was at the heart of events – with entertainment from vintage DJs, a swing band, lindyhoppers and a vintage fashion show, organised by Gently Worn Vintage.

With less of a marketing budget and more of a niche market, promotion relied heavily on PR and online exposure through ezines, blog sites and social media. Thousands turned out for another sunny weekend and the event received rave reviews on Twitter and in online and offline media.

Building on these successes, next year’s Pantiles Food Festival is set to take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May 2012. The Vintage Fair will happen on the weekend of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July.

A website which will promote future events and shops on The Pantiles has been developed by Torpedo Juice - but using responsive design methods, the design adapts to the device it is being viewed on, be that mobile, tablet or desktop. This gives the user the best experience possible. 

By Jeremy Timms