For this latest stage of #AlwaysBarcelona we wanted to expose the culturally prolific environment of Barcelona, a hotspot for international musicians and artists. Under a separate tagline, Play Act Dance, this time we speak to people driven by cultural creativity, music and technology in a thriving city.
When you think of Barcelona, you think sunshine, sea and Sagrada Familia. The city already has a thriving tourism industry so, instead of trying to rebrand Barcelona, our aim was to add a deeper layer. We wanted to represent the city as a place that is alive with opportunities for people coming to live, work, or even set up a company. When you think about a city you think about the people you know that live there, the music or culture that you experienced, or the little cafe on the corner that you love. It’s a very personal thing – a feeling based on fragmentary individual moments. This is what #AlwaysBarcelona tries to capture.
A global campaign without a logo, #AlwaysBarcelona is a sustained movement from the Ajuntament de Barcelona designed to generate a positive, authentic feeling around the city. So far, the campaign has reached millions of people all over the world, gaining recognition across key national media. Each stage builds on the last one: firstly, focusing on everyday life in Barcelona; next, highlighting the talented creatives that represent the city’s thriving design industry; and finally, we portray the city’s urban underground scene as seen through the eyes of its emerging musicians.
“A city without a powerful culture is a dead place. So, going beyond promoting the Barcelona brand, we highlight the underground scene as a way to truly show the vitality of the city and continue to attract young talent and new companies.”
Rafa Martínez, COO, Partner & Brand Strategist, Folch
The first stage Share Like Follow coincided with Mobile World Congress 2018, the second Think Design Create was launched at the same time as Barcelona Design Week. This latest stage Play Act Dance coincides with world renowned music festival, Sónar. By focusing on key events throughout the year, we are able to selectively target a very specific type of audience, whether it’s people coming here for work, for cultural events or to live. The aim is to reach and engage different demographics at times when our content will be most welcome, relevant, and therefore most effective.
The campaign was divided across organic and paid social media. We reached out to local and international audiences consuming information about music, festivals and culture in and around Barcelona. Using locations for events and festivals such as Sónar as a platform for geotargeting, we also reached out to visitors coming to the city specifically for the festival, including students and professionals in the music and production industries. Through identifying, tracking and retargeting we were able to share our content with anyone who engaged with the movement.
A two stage strategy
“Geographical targeting allows us to identify our audience and then realign our message to the experience of each type of user, telling them exactly what they want to hear about the city.”
Angelina de Lucas, Paid Media Strategist at Folch
Once again, the movement was purely digital, initially launching via display advertising on press sites such as The Guardian and Spain’s El Pais, followed by a comprehensive social media activation campaign. In total we created 300 assets, mostly in the form of Facebook and Instagram carousels, as well as YouTube ads. In the course of 13 days, the same user would be able to visualize a slightly different version of the same ads on their Instagram feed and stories, via Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
The tone of voice used for all communication was very important. We wanted to make the campaign easy to identify and to transmit a real, human feeling. The voice of the campaign was going to be heard mainly through mobile phone and in a mobile environment by people on the move or with little time to waste. On our mobiles, we don’t write or talk, we do something called fingered speech, a concept established by John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University.
“We needed to adapt our voices to the format and the audience we were talking to. To create empathy and make sure our message gets through. So what we did was apply the mobile-first commandment, writing the copy directly in the iPhone Notes app so it would be built in a native environment, emojis and all, in the same way in which the assets would be spread.”
Vincenzo Angileri, Narrative Director at Folch
Each asset links to the campaign website where visitors can see a selection of facts about Barcelona, it’s thriving community of musical talent and numerous festivals and events. We designed a widescreen horizontal layout giving maximum impact to the artists and audiovisual elements. It’s easy to navigate through a series of facts, which take centre screen displayed in the bold Druk typeface and, at strategic points, infographics further maximize and explain the data. The website is transversal, easily navigable between the three Always Barcelona campaigns, and the colour scheme is consistent throughout. In addition, an innovative feature allows you to essentially ‘chat’ to your desktop, which provides questions and answers to identify what you are specifically looking for.
We selected six up-and-coming artists who are taking the city’s music scene by storm. Folch’s production company, White Horse, with support from Broadcaster, produced a series of videos showing the lifestyle of each individual artist. Each production generates a snapshot of their lives, sounds, studios, friends, hangouts filmed at various locations across the city, chosen by the artist themselves. By focusing on the everyday activity of each talent – seen through their own eyes and as if shot on their own phones and cameras – the production aims to give a real, tangible vignette of Barcelona’s underground music scene, indirectly highlighting the inspiring cultural ecosystem of the city itself, which continues to generate musical talent.
“What you create comes from what you experience. The infinite and often random moments, images and sounds that define your daily life. Music comes from an even more intangible place. We aim to capture this through the fragmented consciousness of each artist.”
Pol Gonzalez Novell, Filmmaker and Partner at White Horse
Musicians nowadays are constantly creating homemade, personal videos in a variety of formats; we wanted to bring Barcelona’s music scene to life in its original form. To do so, we combined the video assets with a selection of raw, analogue shots, taken by photographers Pablo de Pastors and Rafael Castells within the same multi-faceted context as the video shootings. In addition to this, we took behind the scenes recordings, shot with an iPhone during production, to be used as extra content for Instagram stories. The aim was to create something colourful and alive – a rich, authentic picture of where their music comes from through a myriad of production techniques.
Play Act Dance is a purely digital campaign, however, the design allows for offline roll out in the same way as we did for Share Like Follow and Think Design Create. Below are some mockups to show the potential for expanding the movement even further by means of physical assets around the city of Barcelona.