Posters have gone up over graffitied walls, shop windows, bus shelters, abandoned buildings, scaffolding works, telephone boxes and more across Peckham.
This is a new campaign that sends positivity across the neighbourhood and builds support for its local businesses. Peckham Power. And it’s been thought up, produced and created by two unemployed junior /placement creatives – Ed and Martin.
Locals to the area, the team wanted to create something that would be genuinely useful. Taking into account the pandemic, black lives matter, and the economic situation for small independents.
Ed said: “When the pandemic hit, we were near the end of a placement. Had work in the pipeline. But we got locked out by a hiring freeze. Initially and perhaps naively we pestered people we’d met about getting work. Soon it became obvious that this was going to be a long haul. So then we had to figure out what we could do, and without any money.”
After talking to a local Jerk Chicken seller, who talked about his customers being from all nationalities, the team realised that the people of Peckham were the source of an idea.
Peckham is a neighbourhood that’s home to all kinds of people, and its residents could be proud of their diversity. And in turn, that pride can inspire the confidence needed to get through the pandemic, to go out and support businesses, and to press on with resolving social issues.
The result is a guerilla campaign that has been pulled together with zero budget, the help of strangers and the kindness of friends.
It features motivational fly posters on the highstreet, as well as larger business specific posters in shop windows. Each simple detail celebrates Peckham and its diversity. The colours are bold and vibrant. The printing is a bit rough around the edges. The copy is varied in tone, sometimes warm and prideful, sometimes funny and hip, sometimes plain and straightforward.
In its initial stages the team spoke to a diverse bunch of creatives and friends to get feedback on the idea, tone and language. This included a 30 minute chat with Tony Hector, CD at VCCP, as well as an exchange of emails with Trevor Robinson at Quiet Storm.
Martin said: “We’d worked with Tony before and he gave us some great feedback. We never actually got to speak properly with Trevor. That’s because he was extremely busy with Create not Hate. But there was an offer to speak about it later on. And that meant the idea needed work. Pretty good feedback for a cold call.”
Once the idea was in better shape, Ed and Martin needed to recruit businesses. With no previous experience like this, the team took a presentation around on their laptops. They visited all kinds of places – bargain basements, textile shops, jerk restaurants, local pubs and hair salons – ending up with a list of about eight who’d get on board initially.
Martin said: “All the time we were very conscious of getting the right mix of businesses. It’s about diversity so that meant speaking to and including everyone. Going one way or the other didn’t feel true to the area. It’s the blend of different cultures that makes the area interesting.”
But as well as the campaign itself, the team also wanted diversity to be true of creative production. So when they needed a photographer, they were pleased to find a hungarian-born local who was willing to get on board.
Ed said: “It felt like a long shot, getting a photographer for free. And surprisingly it actually didn’t take too long. A friend at Ogilvy put us in touch with Greg. He’s a new photographer and he was a good match since we couldn’t pay anything. We did get him a coffee though. We’re not evil.”
While the team is able to joke, the hope is that the campaign will make more of a meaningful impact. The first posters have begun appearing in shops, and are supported by fly posters up and down the street, in all sorts of locations. As well as an Instagram that showcases the stories of these featured shopkeepers in more detail.
Martin said: “It’s quite a cheesy campaign in some ways. But if it gives one person a bit of a lift, helps them through their day at work or whatever. Well then that’s a success to us.”
Over the coming weeks, the campaign will expand its messages on the streets and on Instagram. Martin added: ”We’d love to involve every local business in Peckham”.
Source: Ed and Martin