Laura Jordan Bambach, president and CCO at Grey London, reflects on the recently celebrated Cultural Diversity Day with an eclectic selection of work that solidifies the strength of urban creativity
Even after more than 20 years in the UK, I’m struck by the incredible cultural diversity of urban life in this country, which is why I’ve stayed close to home in my High Five choices. These campaigns are quite different, but what they have in common is they show all the good things about putting cultural diversity at the heart of the process - something we at Grey call ‘the collision of difference’. Quite simply, it gets you to better, stronger ideas and results in more interesting work...
Nike - 'Nothing Beats a Londoner'
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy London
Production: Riff Raff Films
Post: Time Based Arts
Editorial: Final Cut
W&K was briefed to create a London-centric film for Nike and they really delivered with ‘Nothing Beats a Londoner’, shot on the streets of the capital and starring 258 of its real-life inhabitants - plus a few famous faces. The result is a three-minute film which truly captures what it’s like living here - all the subcultures and differing points of view challenging each other, but supporting each other at the same time. It’s so beautifully produced - every second is perfect. It even features a Morley’s, instantly recognisable to anyone who’s lived south of the river.
EA Sports - 'Fifa 21: Midnight Ramadan League'
This whole EA Sports campaign feels so full of love. The film is beautiful, and testament to the power of working with diverse creatives to tell the stories of their own communities. Even more wonderful is why the film has been made. Not only does it highlight Birmingham’s grassroots Midnight Ramadan League, created so players don’t miss out while they are observing Ramadan, but EA Sports has made the league and some of its players part of the FIFA 21 universe. British Asians are severely underrepresented in the UK’s professional football leagues, what a great way to inspire young footballers to dream of what might be.
Dazed - 'Qween’s Speech'
Agency & Production: ACNE London
Director: Zhang + Knight
Sound: 19 Sound London
Disclosure: 'Qween’s Speech', a film commissioned by Dazed recognising the achievements of LGBTQ+ Britain, happens to have been written by two of the creatives now at Grey London...but it’s on my list because it deserves to be. Starring, among others, Munroe Bergdorf, Sam Smith and Aries Moross, it’s a beautiful celebration of the colour and pride of these communities. And while it lauds the progress that’s been made, including acceptance of the ‘they’ pronoun, it also reveals just how exhausting it is to be forced to fight just to live in your own body.
Sport England - 'This Girl Can: Me Again'
Agency: FCB Inferno
Production: Partizan London
Director: Ali Kurr
The original film really changed the game and I love the latest one too - especially Little Simz’ soundtrack. What they’ve managed to do is fantastic, tackling all the things that get in the way of women owning and celebrating their own physicality. It’s such a celebration of bodies, and there’s so much richness in the people who star in the film.
Posten - 'When Harry Met Santa'
Production: B-Reel Films
Director: Sacarias Kiusalaas
I wouldn’t be a great creative if I didn’t break the rules, so my fifth choice is just a little further away and it’s here because it’s just so goddamn beautiful and it makes me cry. It’s a film for Posten, the Norwegian postal service, celebrating 50 years since the country decriminalised homosexuality - and wishing everyone a happy Christmas. It not only tells a story of the attraction between two older men (one of whom is the iconic figure of Santa Claus), but brings out the universal emotions of being away from someone you love and shows the importance of human connection. I love it because it’s no mean feat taking an icon like Santa and reimagining him in the real world, and it’s done with such care, warmth and heart.