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Ancestry's Untold Stories Commemorate the Blitz 80th Anniversary Like Never Before

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Integrated campaign from Anomaly and Red Consultancy brings together Artists across England to depict life during The Blitz

Ancestry's Untold Stories Commemorate the Blitz 80th Anniversary Like Never Before

The Piccadilly Circus lights image is a mock-up, picture credit - Anomaly

To mark 80 years since the start of The Blitz, Ancestry, the global leader in family history, has launched an integrated campaign telling untold stories from WWII and depicting life during The Blitz.

The campaign, proposed by Ancestry’s UK PR agency Red Consultancy, is focused on a new collection of 80 pieces of art, available to view on the Ancestry Blitz80 site, each newly commissioned and based on real-life stories discovered in wartime records on Ancestry. Inspired by the War Artists Advisory Committee (WAAC) which was established at the outbreak of World War II by the UK Government’s Ministry of Information, the collection brings to life the extraordinary ‘everyday’ lives and efforts of people all over the country whilst they lived and served on the home front.


UK Wide Integrated Campaign

The Blitz commemorative campaign will be rolling out across Out of Home, Print, Digital, PR, Social Media, Influencers and on-site marketing from Friday 4th September with media sites showcasing the artworks around the UK going live on Monday 7th September to time with the 80th anniversary.

Media planning and buying was handled by the7stars who will also be overseeing multiple digital sheets in UK city centres showcasing the artworks as well as full pages running in regional newspapers including the Metro, Western Daily Press and Daily Record.

“To mark the 80th anniversary of the start of the Blitz, we’ve developed an integrated marketing campaign that powerfully brings to life the everyday lives and efforts of people all over the UK whilst they lived and served on the home front,’’ said Russell James, marketing lead, UK and Ireland at Ancestry. “We feel this activity builds on our previously successful World War II campaign work and we hope that it encourages people now to discover their connection to the Blitz and World War II.’’


Bright Lights

Ancestry will also be transforming the giant Piccadilly Lights screen into the iconic, neon Piccadilly signage throughout history on 10th September. The 30-minute slot will begin in 1949 when the lights were first switched back on post World War II and end in the present day.

The content from Ancestry is true to each decade whereby historical images and archive footage of the lights from multiple angles were used to get references of what they once looked like. As a result, each type of signage from Bovril to the Schweppes fountain required a different treatment in the 3D render so that when people see the ads brought to life on screen it will look like the original.

The activation dovetails the wider Ancestry Blitz commemorative campaign and was devised by Anomaly who won the first ever Ocean Outdoor competition to win a media spot on the world-famous London site.

‘’Piccadilly Circus has long been one of the world’s most iconic advertising sites,’’ said Ben Robinson and Mike Whiteside, Anomaly. ‘’For one day only, we’re excited to bring back its most famous signs from years gone by. From the vintage Guinness Time clocks to the neon Coca-Cola signs, and even the classic Bovril and Schweppes fountain, we’re opening a window into Piccadilly’s past, just like Ancestry does for its users.’’


Social Art Activity

Ancestry will also be commemorating The Blitz anniversary across their social channels supported by 1000heads and Social Chain, which includes influencer engagement from the art community and a unique campaign on Instagram highlighting how the air raids affected life across the UK through an interactive map. Going live on 5th September, the map will showcase individual stories of bravery and dedication to duty from everyday people and will be paired with the commemorative artworks in order to bring to life the experience of those living through this extraordinary moment in history. hosts the UK’s largest online collection of family history documents with more than two billion UK records, helping people uncover the untold personal stories of World War II – from the home front to the front line. The new collection of World War II artwork also comes as Ancestry launches StoryScout, a new feature which allows users to create an engaging narrative of their ancestor’s life. 

For more information about Ancestry’s Blitz art collection and StoryScout, visit here. To access Ancestry’s records and discover untold personal stories from World War II, visit the Ancestry website. Keep up to date on social media by following #Blitz80.

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The Blitz Art Activity 

Client: Ancestry

PR Agency: Red Consultancy

Creative Agency: Anomaly

Media Agency: the7stars

Social Media Agency: 1000heads

Performance: Performics

Influencer Agency: Social Chain

Web Builders: Feed

OOH home sites that will be showcasing The Blitz artwork

Cardiff: Super Motion

Manchester: The Screen @ Printworks

Birmingham: The Screen @ New Street

Southampton: The Screen @ West Quay

Glasgow: The Screen @ St Enoch

Plymouth: Drake Circus Shopping Mall

Digital 6 sheets will also be seen in city centres: Bristol, Liverpool, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Coventry and London

Piccadilly Lights Activation

Creative Agency: Anomaly

Executive Creative Director: Joe Corcoran

Creatives: Mike Whiteside

Creatives: Ben Robinson

Animation & Post Production: Blind Pig

Executive Producer: Thierry Levy

Creative Director:   Ric Comline

Creative Lead: Sean Cooper

Animation: Sean Cooper, Lawrence Scanlon

Artists who produced artworks for The Blitz activity 

Belfast: Danni Simpson

Birmingham: Liu Mengxia

Staffordshire: Luke Brookes

Bristol: Andy Council

Bristol: Anna Marrow

Bristol: Nay Groves 

Cardiff: Gareth Brown 

Cardiff: Matt Joyce

Cardiff: Sam Dawson 

Cardiff: Harri Davidson 

Coventry: Jenny Shufflebotham 

Coventry: Michael Snodgrass 

Essex: Megan Menzies 

Glasgow: Katie Smith 

Glasgow: Greg McIndoe 

Kent: Jack Holland 

Leicester: Chloe Hall

Liverpool: Sophie Green 

Liverpool: Katie Pinch 

London: Shana Lohrey 

London: Elliot Byrne 

London: Tom Cox 

London: Krystal Wong 

London: Adebayo Bolaji

London: Nathan Bowen 

London: Joey Yu 

Manchester: Alex Francis 

Manchester: Danielle Rhoda 

Plymouth: Charlotte Leadley 

Plymouth: Scott Wilson 

Portsmouth: Laura Crouch 

Sheffield: Ryan Mosley 

Swansea: Amy Kate Wolfe

Anomaly London, Fri, 04 Sep 2020 10:18:34 GMT