Normal is not us
We like it when a brief is a little out of the ordinary. And even more so when it’s little bit close to home. The one that came in lockdown couldn’t have been closer and more personal. VisitBrighton put us on the pitchlist for something we get could get right behind – the city itself.
People have been coming here since the time of the Prince Regent. It’s the original seaside resort. But Covid-19 stopped all that. No visitors, no one allowed outside and everything shutdown. The brief for the pitch was simple, but one that we knew would evolve and develop over time – bring Brighton back to life after lockdown. Get residents to re-engage and get visitors to visit.
It was also clear that we would have to make the most of the budget and make the campaign go a little further than usual, 2020 doing what 2020 does.
And then of course there was the new normal. That slightly indefinable yet omnipresent phrase, that acceptance that things would never be the same again, that life was just so ‘unprecedented’ that we’d all just have to accept a crushing new reality and worse still, a new normality.
And that just seemed wrong, because the one thing that defines this amazing city of ours is its character and characters, its diversity and individuality, sometimes its just downright weirdness. Or as Faye, our Creative Director, put it, the fact that Brighton has never been normal.
That was the insight and idea that kick started our pitch. The Never Normal Brighton campaign would celebrate the anti normal; the free thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs, eccentrics and entertainers who make this city what it is. VisitBrighton loved it. So we got to work.
We’d make the people and places of Brighton our heroes and put them centre stage – the maniacs who swim off the pier everyday, the eccentrics of The Laines, the drag queens and the mods and rockers, the Georgian-dressing obsessives, the silent dancers and the disco bunnies and the fact that for some reason no one’s quite sure of there’s an upside down house on the seafront. They’d all get their moment in the sun.
And on social media, the residents of Brighton would be able to join in and share their #NeverNormalBrighton moments too. This was an important part of the campaign because there’s no one normality down here and no one’s that normal, we’ve all got our own stories to tell. This would help the Brighton story travel wider still and remind friends and family of the good times spent down here and to come again.
Local, London and Home Counties commuters and visitors were targeted with a press and outdoor campaign and the NeverNormalBrighton was pushed out in social too.
We’re so proud to be doing something for the place we call home. And something that feels so right for the city. And let’s be frank, so very us too. Let’s keep it never normal out there.