The brewers Marstons hired Gavin Watson to create the story for their “From Burton With Love” ad campaign and product launch. The idea was to get back their roots in their home town of Burton on Trent with a cast of employees, their friends and families; an ideal vehicle for Gavin’s blend of reportage and high energy realism.
Marstons, one of the great names in British beer – their Pedigree ale is an all time classic – have decided to update both their profile and their product range for the age of craft beers and microbreweries. The campaign goes back to the very roots of the business in the home town of British brewing and aligns Marstons with what their marketing director Lee Williams described as “the authenticity and simplicity of the new beer scene.”
Given the brief, Gavin’s style was the perfect fit and, as it says in the foreword of his book ‘Skins and Punks’, he has the ability to make ‘ordinary’ people look like legends. The campaign characters were all street cast either from the Marstons workforce, including head brewer Pat McGinty, or the general population of Burton and the story was shot in various locations in the brewery and the town.
“I wanted places that people would recognise,” Gavin said, talking about the choices of key locations and local landmarks, “I wanted to capture the spirit of a place – making it look as dramatic but as real as possible – about what it is to live and breathe in this town. The ‘secondary town’ thing resonates with me. Burton still has its industry and it filled me with joy when I came to a town that still means something.
It’s in the blood; in the water. If you’re going to live, grow and die in this town you’re going to be connected to brewing in some way. You can sense it as soon as you get off the train.”
Art direction and the ideas that inspired the campaign come from Big Al’s Creative Emporium.