From the sourdough craze that saw supermarkets run out of flour and yeast to more adventurous exploits like DIY haircuts Covid-19 has seen many of us turn our hand to new hobbies and try to pick up new skills as the businesses we usually rely on have been forced to shut up shop. But as restrictions tentatively ease up, one colourful new outdoor campaign, from a team of creatives from agency Pablo, is urging us to support small businesses and leave it to the professionals.
It’s time to admit to yourself that no matter how many Youtube barber tutorials you’ve watched, you haven’t mastered ‘the fade’.
“Drawing from lockdown experiences (like half the UK learning to bake sourdough, cutting their own hair or exercising in their pants) we wanted to remind people of the local businesses they must now support, instead of keeping their new, often odd, lockdown habits,” says Nathalie Gordon, part of the team behind the campaign.
This campaign urges the public to think about using small businesses as restrictions lift; the range of 16 designs spotlight everything from local pubs, hairdressers, carpenters, bookshops to therapists, bakers and gyms. It’s been created by the same team who made the ‘Save a Life, Sit on Your Sofa’
campaign that popped up on outdoor sites around the UK (and which was even mistaken for a government campaign by The Times).
As the Covid-19 shifts into a new phase, Nathalie Gordon, Amy Fasey, Jacob Hellestrom and the Pablo ECD Dan Watts wanted to use their creativity to support those whose very livelihood hangs in the balance.
“As we’ve navigated through lockdown, we’ve seen the struggles of small businesses first hand. This pandemic has brought many to their knees and will continue to do so for months to come,” says Nathalie Gordon, part of the team behind the campaign.
“Small businesses and local independent shops have never been more important but yet it’s the big corporations getting bailouts and making headline news. The focus is in the wrong place.”
But while the campaign has been created to address a serious issue, it’s light-hearted and colourful in tone. There are 16 different designs, each carrying the #SupportSmall hashtag. The team is working with OOH company London Lites, who helped with the previous campaign. They’re providing 30 sites across London and all 16 posters are being displayed in rotation across the city. Talks are currently underway to get some larger spaces for the campaign and flyposter sites across the rest of the UK.
Ultimately the team really want to make an impact. “If we can get one more person to wait for their local shop to open,” says Nathalie, “we’ve made a difference.”