Greg Ormrod and Thomas Worthington, Creatives at Havas London, explore a new campaign for Britain’s Beer Alliance which celebrates the important role local pubs play in culture and community.
‘That Special Feeling’ draws together pubs from across the UK to highlight the challenges faced by business owners in this industry and the vital role the local plays in the lives of British people.
Here, Greg and Thomas explain the creative behind the project and how it aims to enact change.
Tell us a little bit about the campaign and the message it set out to amplify.
This campaign is all about saving the pubs. So, obviously, there was no pressure at all! Every 12 hours in Britain another pub calls last orders and closes its doors for good. And that was before the global pandemic hit in 2020. So, we needed to remind people what it meant to be back in the pubs again. How it felt when you walked through your local’s doors. The moment you sip that fresh pint and share a cheers with your nearest and dearest. Because the moment you step inside, is a moment like no other. It’s your home away from home, where you’re always welcome. It’s something none of us want to lose. The campaign was created to drive people to sign a petition lowering beer duty, VAT and business rates for pubs and breweries. But, the feeling we wanted people to have watching this film was to feel inspired to message their mates just three little letters ‘pub?’.
‘That Special Feeling’ is a compilation of footage of pubs throughout Britain. How did you go about gathering and producing it?
This was possibly one of the most difficult ones to produce, bring to life and do the behemoth task of saving the pubs justice. With tight timings, strict budgets and government guidelines changing daily due to COVID, the only way to do this was to hit the ground running and keep up that momentum. Which miraculously, and with huge thanks to our producers here at Havas and the unflinching team at Stink Prod Co working around the clock, was able to become a reality. One of the most important parts of this project to get right was to show every single type of British pub and local. From the countryside dwellers to the inner-city cellars. Because we all have a different pub we call local. So, right away we had to think outside the box, we formally call the M25.
We worked with Bafta-nominated documentary director Leo Maguire at Stink whose dad had been a landlord for 20 years, so he knew the importance better than most. It goes without saying that he was brilliant to work with and made the film entirely more beautiful than the collection of scribbled words we called a script. We had a couple of vans, a skeleton crew and 5 days to go to as many different pubs as we could go to shooting on 35mm film, to make it as authentic and rich as the pubs themselves. To say they pulled off the impossible would be an understatement. Tom Cruise would be proud.
Tell us about the media campaign and how this film was shared.
The film has been pushed out online through various social media channels. Giving people the chance to click on the link and sign the petition. A week in and already tens of thousands have signed to lower beer tax and have even gone as far as emailing their local MPs.
How do you feel the moment when you enter the pub?!
It’s a feeling unlike any other. You wouldn’t be met with the same energy walking into a coffee shop, or the same mix of people opening the doors of a gym. It’s where everyone and anyone can call theirs. Even if you’re from out of town. A place you can feel welcome.