The pandemic has shaken up the world, and today, more than ever, is the time to think globally and act locally. The City Council of Barcelona has launched the campaign ‘Barcelona mai s’atura’ (Barcelona never stops) which encourages citizens to contribute to the city’s economic reactivation by buying and consuming locally. More than 60.000 local businesses open their doors every day to offer quality products and services which keep the city moving – now it is our turn to give them a little boost.
The campaign showcases specific moments and scenes within an economic transaction. Shopkeepers, haulers and consumers are all essential parts of the reactivation process of the city: without one you can’t have the other. The goal was to create a tactical and at the same time emotional campaign, suggesting the idea of proximity, which leads us to bigger issues like sustainability, community, and circular economy. These values are not only contextual but seek to remain within the collective imaginary of Barcelona’s citizens in the long run.
The campaign itself is pretty straightforward: it presents local consumption as the most obvious and reasonable way to live. For the past months we have been buying online because we couldn’t leave the house, but now we can go back to walking our neighbourhoods and committing to local trade. In this sense, identification with the scenes and cartoon characters is immediate: the simplicity of both the lines and the message makes us see ourselves in them and empathise with the cause.
The cartoon is the minimum expression of any comprehensible action. These are quick sketches with geometric lines. We were trying to keep it simple, without adding noise to the message, so the attention is drawn towards the policy.
Josep Puy, Art Director & Senior Designer at Folch and Illustrator of the campaign
Illustration is a language between reality and fiction, and given the current situation, neither seemed right to represent. Reality may have felt too raw, while total fiction would have been too false. Illustration was the perfect middle point.
Furthermore, cartoons target everyone: adults, youth and children can identify with this element, making the campaign assumable for all. Barcelona’s local government was seeking to communicate in a horizontal manner where all can acquire a sense of agency in order to feel involved in the community.
These cartoons, specifically, were originally created for an internal initiative that was developed during the lockdown: Folch launched Creatives at Home, a digital space where designers and creatives around the world could exchange ideas, thoughts and opinions in times of social distancing. Later, when the Barcelona City Council proposed their campaign, the feeling was that the characters suited it, so they were reinvented and adapted to the new scenario.
Rafa Martínez, COO Partner & Head of Brand Strategy at Folch
The campaign has been launched across the City Council’s social media channels, as well as newspapers and Catalan public television. Since it is about encouraging local trade, diffusion also took place on the streets and in the neighbourhoods of Barcelona. With specific approaches to each area, the campaign calls for consumer awareness via visible messages throughout the city.
This campaign has been developed in collaboration with the Communication team of the Barcelona City Council.