Slapstick video sketches, Instagram images and Facebook campaign invite viewers to visit BristolA series of online films featuring one of the world’s best-loved animated characters, Gromit, will be unveiled from Thursday 30 May, as part of a campaign to promote Bristol as a fabulous summer destination for a short break.
Commissioned by Destination Bristol, the film stars a five-foot sculpture of Gromit, one of 80 making up a major new public art trail called Gromit Unleashed, organised by Aardman Animations with charity partner The Grand Appeal.
Each Gromit on the trail, set to hit the streets of Bristol this summer, is being designed by celebrities and artists including illustrator Raymond Briggs, comedian Harry Hill and designer Sir Paul Smith.
Produced by Bristol-based Icon Films, the main film stars two hapless delivery men, failing to navigate their way around Bristol to deliver one of the giant Gromit sculptures to an unknown destination. In a nod to the animated Gromit, the film is silent and its human characters communicate only through facial expressions, actions and body language.
Kelly Ballard, Head of Marketing at Destination Bristol, says: “Having the world’s first Gromit trail is a fantastic coup for Bristol. Gromit is one of many Bristol icons and is much-loved among global audiences, so we wanted to create a film using him to showcase the city’s great landmarks and destinations.
“The aim is to inspire people from across the UK and beyond to come and sample the city’s heritage, attractions and creative vibe. Gromit Unleashed forms a key element of Destination Bristol’s 2013 marketing campaigns which are part of a three-year tourism marketing investment project led by Visit England and funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.”
The film is supported by three one-act comedy sketches, showcasing some of Bristol’s landmark locations and characters, to be posted on Facebook weekly from 30 May and throughout June. In one of the teasers Gromit makes a Jurassic Park-style arrival in Clifton, in another he is chased around Millennium Square by ice cream-wielding kids.
Cris Warren at Icon Films, who wrote and directed the films, said: “They are a cheeky salute to the slapstick of Eric Sykes and Harold Lloyd. The stars – Bristolians John and Geoff – appear in a series of surreal situations that see a giant Gromit appear at Bristol landmarks. It’s a true Bristol production. Almost the entire crew and cast of the films are Bristol born and bred. Our brief was to promote Bristol as a destination and Gromit Unleashed showcases how Bristol is a rewarding place to get hopelessly lost in.”
The film’s soundtrack, created exclusively for Gromit Unleashed by Bristol dance floor legends Boca 45, is entitled Lafayette Party Time, and will be available to download this summer.
The films are complemented by a schedule of online and outdoor marketing executions that build up to the opening of Gromit Unleashed. A Facebook and YouTube marketing campaign will target couples and families located more than a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Bristol.
Mark Terry-Lush at Renegade Media, which created the social media, seeding and online advertising campaign linked to the films, added: “The film uses gentle humour to tell a story about Bristol. The wider campaign around the core films will include extra content like outtakes from filming, CCTV footage, screen grabs, and Instagram images, all seeded across various platforms helping to create a buzz about Bristol across all media and social channels.”
All video and creative will be live on Visit Bristol’s Facebook page, from where it will be amplified via Twitter #GromitUnleashed and #VisitBristol.