At a time when the EU referendum has divided the UK, there has been a powerful, innovative, guerrilla marketing campaign that has succeeded in uniting the country to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
Beautiful, moving, humbling, We’re Here Because We’re Here was a piece of living theatre that saw 1,400 volunteers dress in historically accurate WW1 military uniforms and appear unexpectedly in public locations across the UK on 1st July.
Silent, the soldiers moved through modern-day Britain like the ghosts of the 15 regiments they represented, solemnly handing out cards with the name and regiment of the soldier they represented when approached.
Occasionally, the soldiers would join together with a rendition of the song ‘we’re here because we’re here’, which was sung in the trenches during the First World War, creating further impact and on an unsuspecting audience.
Inspired by tales of sightings of a dead love ones during and after the war by relatives, this fabulous piece of Guerrilla Marketing was created by Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller in collaboration with Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre.
“I wanted to make a contemporary memorial to mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one that moved around the UK with an unpredictability in which the participants, by their actions, took the memorial to the public.” – Artist Jeremy Deller
In an age where digital marketing dominates communications, it is refreshing to see a fabulously executed bit of marketing that has creativity and innovation at its core. Not relying on digital media for impact actually created stand-out and with, the campaign embracing all aspects of social media using the hashtag #wearehere, it became truly integrated.
After so many years in the business, it is rare that a marketing campaign truly impresses me but this completely stopped me in my tracks. Undoubtedly the objective was to raise awareness of the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of The Somme and to I can’t imagine a more impactful way of bringing it to life.
I defy anyone who saw the soldiers first hand or those who learned about the stunt in the media or interacted with it via social media to have not been moved. It was a beautiful, emotional, reminder that those who were lost were people too, just like you.
Over the top? Never.