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Long Live the Local

Long Live the Local

Michael Carnevale

Michael Carnevale

September 10, 2018

Saving the traditions that make pubs great.

"We always felt it was right to ignite and remind people how incredible and diverse our pubs are..."

Pubs in Britain are a way of life. But they’re facing a major challenge. The UK recently introduced a new beer tax. And every day, three establishments close up shop. Britain’s Beer Alliance has a new mission—saving local pubs. With creative from Havas London, BBA is working to galvanize pub-goers and put an end to the tax. Alex Tizard and Jonathan Rands, senior creatives at Havas London, take us through the campaign designed to save the local pub.

 

How’d this project start?

Britain’s Beer Alliance has traditionally focused on the beer sector, promoting its wide range of beers and how they suit any occasion. But this year, with three pubs closing every day, they decided they needed a step change in their approach—and instead turned the focus to pubs themselves and what could be done to help save them.

How aware are the British people of this beer tax and its effects?

People are aware of the beer tax because it costs more now to buy a beer, but perhaps (like we were) they are less aware of the dire consequences an increase can have. The pub and brewing industry supports around 900,000 jobs and livelihoods in the UK, yet 18 pubs a week close due to a triple tax threat, the beer tax being one of them. It goes without saying that an increase will only continue to put more jobs and pubs under threat.

What’s the goal of this campaign?

To challenge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut the beer tax in this year’s budget and, in the process, help to keep more of our pubs open.

“Long Live the Local” is a slogan that perfectly evokes nostalgia. How quickly did this idea come during the concepting phase?

It was a gradual process. We always felt it was right to ignite and remind people how incredible and diverse our pubs are—from the range of punters, young and old, friends and family, that visit them, through to the history and character they possess. The campaign had to deliver emotion.

“Long live…” is language that we are used to hearing (“The King is dead, long live the King!”). It instantly provides both a positive and negative meaning—which was perfect for this campaign, pubs being great, but also closing down.

"The whole idea was to make the work feel like it was made by the people, for the people. "

What was filming like inside the pubs?

Firstly, it was a production nightmare, so hats off to director Tom Green and the producers at Stink Films and Havas for pulling it off. It was also probably the longest any of us have spent in a pub without having a drink.

When approaching the idea to save the pubs through film, we wanted to provoke a genuinely emotional response by capturing the vast range of people that visit pubs and the occasions that pubs play host to. Each scene was shot to feel like a mini filmic story, bringing to life the moments we’ve all experienced—the good and the bad.

Any funny moments or bloopers during the shoot?

Not necessarily “funny” or a “blooper,” but one of the regulars had been coming to the same pub every day for over 40 years without fail, and he turned up while we were shooting. So he was subsequently invited to take part as an extra.

In addition to the TV spot, how else are you raising awareness about the beer tax?

This is a ‘360’ campaign so, in addition to the film, we launched a national OOH campaign (digital and static). There’s a website where you can sign a petition, and there’s a social campaign that will run through to November (when the budget is announced), as well as in-pub propaganda from badges to beermats, posters, and bar runners. Excitingly, we’re getting to do a Westminster tube station takeover, which will involve a series of posters directly challenging MPs as they walk into Parliament.

The campaign takes inspiration from political protest movements throughout the years, from environmental to satirical, social, and electoral. The whole idea was to make the work feel like it was made by the people, for the people. So, often crude-looking typefaces and not-so-perfect low-fi effects and overlays were applied. The idea was to evoke emotion through positive statements and thought-provoking questions about why the pub is so important to us and our communities. This coupled with the hard-hitting jeopardy statistic that “3 pubs a day close their doors for good.”

We worked with photographer Ewen Spencer to bring the campaign to life and add character and inherent realism to the messages. Ewen started out by capturing The Streets’ first album covers and youth culture in Britain (particularly the UK garage scene), so his eye was perfect in holding up a mirror to both nostalgia and the modern pubs today.

How’s the campaign been received so far, and are you seeing progress in the fight against this tax?

It’s been received very well so far, and it’s progressing nicely. We’ve had over 20,000 signatures in the petition and over 8,000 emails sent directly to local MPs, reaching 646 out of 650 so far—which is pretty cool. Just got to find those last few now.

Those that have backed the campaign have also received letters of support from their MPs saying that they will back the cause. The campaign has also been covered on Sky News, radio stations, and the national press—so that’s great, but there’s more to come and always more we can do, so keep your eyes peeled.

How can people get involved to help stop these establishments from closing for good?

By signing the petition and sending an email to their local MP: longlivethelocal.pub.

"We always felt it was right to ignite and remind people how incredible and diverse our pubs are..."

Pubs in Britain are a way of life. But they’re facing a major challenge. The UK recently introduced a new beer tax. And every day, three establishments close up shop. Britain’s Beer Alliance has a new mission—saving local pubs. With creative from Havas London, BBA is working to galvanize pub-goers and put an end to the tax. Alex Tizard and Jonathan Rands, senior creatives at Havas London, take us through the campaign designed to save the local pub.

 

How’d this project start?

Britain’s Beer Alliance has traditionally focused on the beer sector, promoting its wide range of beers and how they suit any occasion. But this year, with three pubs closing every day, they decided they needed a step change in their approach—and instead turned the focus to pubs themselves and what could be done to help save them.

How aware are the British people of this beer tax and its effects?

People are aware of the beer tax because it costs more now to buy a beer, but perhaps (like we were) they are less aware of the dire consequences an increase can have. The pub and brewing industry supports around 900,000 jobs and livelihoods in the UK, yet 18 pubs a week close due to a triple tax threat, the beer tax being one of them. It goes without saying that an increase will only continue to put more jobs and pubs under threat.

What’s the goal of this campaign?

To challenge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to cut the beer tax in this year’s budget and, in the process, help to keep more of our pubs open.

“Long Live the Local” is a slogan that perfectly evokes nostalgia. How quickly did this idea come during the concepting phase?

It was a gradual process. We always felt it was right to ignite and remind people how incredible and diverse our pubs are—from the range of punters, young and old, friends and family, that visit them, through to the history and character they possess. The campaign had to deliver emotion.

“Long live…” is language that we are used to hearing (“The King is dead, long live the King!”). It instantly provides both a positive and negative meaning—which was perfect for this campaign, pubs being great, but also closing down.

"The whole idea was to make the work feel like it was made by the people, for the people. "

What was filming like inside the pubs?

Firstly, it was a production nightmare, so hats off to director Tom Green and the producers at Stink Films and Havas for pulling it off. It was also probably the longest any of us have spent in a pub without having a drink.

When approaching the idea to save the pubs through film, we wanted to provoke a genuinely emotional response by capturing the vast range of people that visit pubs and the occasions that pubs play host to. Each scene was shot to feel like a mini filmic story, bringing to life the moments we’ve all experienced—the good and the bad.

Any funny moments or bloopers during the shoot?

Not necessarily “funny” or a “blooper,” but one of the regulars had been coming to the same pub every day for over 40 years without fail, and he turned up while we were shooting. So he was subsequently invited to take part as an extra.

In addition to the TV spot, how else are you raising awareness about the beer tax?

This is a ‘360’ campaign so, in addition to the film, we launched a national OOH campaign (digital and static). There’s a website where you can sign a petition, and there’s a social campaign that will run through to November (when the budget is announced), as well as in-pub propaganda from badges to beermats, posters, and bar runners. Excitingly, we’re getting to do a Westminster tube station takeover, which will involve a series of posters directly challenging MPs as they walk into Parliament.

The campaign takes inspiration from political protest movements throughout the years, from environmental to satirical, social, and electoral. The whole idea was to make the work feel like it was made by the people, for the people. So, often crude-looking typefaces and not-so-perfect low-fi effects and overlays were applied. The idea was to evoke emotion through positive statements and thought-provoking questions about why the pub is so important to us and our communities. This coupled with the hard-hitting jeopardy statistic that “3 pubs a day close their doors for good.”

We worked with photographer Ewen Spencer to bring the campaign to life and add character and inherent realism to the messages. Ewen started out by capturing The Streets’ first album covers and youth culture in Britain (particularly the UK garage scene), so his eye was perfect in holding up a mirror to both nostalgia and the modern pubs today.

How’s the campaign been received so far, and are you seeing progress in the fight against this tax?

It’s been received very well so far, and it’s progressing nicely. We’ve had over 20,000 signatures in the petition and over 8,000 emails sent directly to local MPs, reaching 646 out of 650 so far—which is pretty cool. Just got to find those last few now.

Those that have backed the campaign have also received letters of support from their MPs saying that they will back the cause. The campaign has also been covered on Sky News, radio stations, and the national press—so that’s great, but there’s more to come and always more we can do, so keep your eyes peeled.

How can people get involved to help stop these establishments from closing for good?

By signing the petition and sending an email to their local MP: longlivethelocal.pub.

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