How we helped reposition Hollywood Bowl to grow beyond their category

With just shy of 100 locations across the UK and internationally, Hollywood Bowl is a company big enough to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. They’re unquestionably a leading brand in bowling venues in the UK, however, they were hungry for more growth.

photo of a man smiling and holding a bowling ball with a little girl on his back

The Brief

Despite their national scale and frequent investment in modernisation of their venues, Hollywood Bowl was seen as just another local bowling venue. Fun to visit once a year, but not necessarily the sort of place you’d book in advance.

This needed to change. The aim was to encourage more people to book more visits and do this ahead of time. That’s where we came in.

We were tasked with elevating their brand from one people knew of but didn’t feel anything for to something more exciting. More entertaining. More emotionally charged.

Strategy & Insights

Through a series of workshops, site visits, and desk research we learned while people often reserve their fun for the weekend, they also look for everyday escapes from stress and monotony—something Hollywood Bowl has in spades.

This made it clear we needed to reposition the brand from ‘just a weekend bowling place’ to ‘everyday centres of fun’ and compete with restaurants, cinemas, cafes, and even Netflix.

The Idea

‘Come Play’ is a brand platform and an open invitation to let loose, have fun, and be your true self any day of the week.

It encourages people to put down their phones, turn off their TVs, and join their friends at Hollywood Bowl for a much-needed break from the stress of everyday life.

Creative Solution

With a new vision, proposition, and brand direction in place, we wove elements of fun and movement through every possible element of the brand. The result was the playful and practical brand guidelines to put the bumpers up for all future brand communications.

Then, creative engines at full throttle, we developed a huge array of new assets to showcase the refreshed brand identity for out-of-home, a photo bank of assets, cinema ads, and seasonal campaign assets.

All in all, we gave the brand a little spark and big fun to help people banish boredom from day-to-day life.

photo of a man walking past a series of campaign posters for hollywood bowl
  • two phones showing mobile ads on pink background
  • photo of a smiling woman in a green top accompanied by her friends, all standing at the bar

It has been a pleasure working with the team at MadeBrave on the Hollywood Bowl brand refresh. Their team felt like an extension of our own, they challenged us to be brave in just the right way and ultimately smashed the brief.

It led to new brand creative that supports the all-important emotional connection and has our customers fun at the core. We’re super proud of the new Hollywood Bowl brand identity.

Liz Penney, Head of Marketing at Hollywood Bowl
photo of a woman in a wheelchair holding her hands up like she's just won with a blue background and a pink sign that says
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