Responses by Tom Houser and Christopher Keatinge, creatives, Uncommon Creative Studio
Background: Britain Get Talking is an ITV mental wellness initiative with one simple aim: to encourage us all to connect. Supported by mental health charities Mind and YoungMinds, the idea is that simply talking to our nearest and dearest helps combat anxiety, loneliness and depression—especially now, with social distancing making us feel more isolated than ever before.
Reasoning: This is the second print campaign we’ve made to promote Britain Get Talking. The first used the visual language of TV listings to play out family conversations. This year, we wanted to create something that felt like a sequel, but also didn’t repeat the same gag. After a lot of ideas that felt a bit flat, too clever or just plain dopey, we realized the humble contacts list on our phones offered an unusual and interesting space to coopt our message. We all have a phonebook stuffed with everyone we’ve ever met, but only a handful of whom we ever talk to with any regularity. Once we thought about it like that, it all just clicked.
Challenges: We’re a creative duo working 300 miles apart thanks to lockdown, but it was also a pretty tight turnaround on a limited budget.
Favorite details: Adding that little bit of color and humor to the ads with a judiciously chosen emoji made them feel a lot more alive and human. We’re proud we snuck those in. But more than that, many of the executions are inspired by real people too—Dr. Rebz is a real life medic working in Bristol A&E, so being able to pay tribute to her was special.
Visual influences: Trying to create a phone user interface look that was recognizable—but also didn’t get us sued—was an interesting visual challenge because we’re all so familiar with them. And you can always see a brand knock off from a mile away.
Specific demands: Uncommon has a great track record for print work. Our designers are an inspirational and hardworking bunch, so we try to live up to what the rest of the studio is putting out there. Mostly, that comes down to creating something that doesn’t look like a regular old ad. No logos bottom right! Luckily, ITV is an amazing client to work with because they trust good creative work, and that gives us the freedom to push things.
Anything new: We learned that we can create and deliver through lockdown. It’s those little moments like cracking a brief that makes things feel a bit more normal.