In these uncertain times, it is always good to have an old friend by your side. Step forward Auntie, the under-threat public service broadcaster, with another campaign from BBC Creative, designed to bring the nation together.
At a time when the UK is facing an unprecedented crisis, most Brits – bar Dominic Cummings and his cronies, it seems – support the BBC to help keep the country informed, educated and entertained.
This film attempts to demonstrate that even though we are physically further apart more than ever before, good old Auntie is helping us create shared experiences and emotions that will bring us closer as a society when we need it most.
But BBC Creative has resisted the temptation to simply fall back on its huge archive. Instead, the film is a montage of real-life footage of the events of the past few weeks, moving from empty supermarket shelves, and deserted streets to heart-warming interviews, viral moments like the “Clap for our NHS carers” as well as personal videos from NHS staff and the construction of the NHS Nightingale hospitals.
This is interwoven with clips from the social distancing version of Have I Got News For You, plus Gavin & Stacey, Who Do You Think You Are and Dads’ Army led by Captain Mainwaring and all to the velvet vocal accompaniment of Idris Elba, reading the poem Don’t Quit by Edgar Guest.
There are also two 60-second edits which will be released in the coming days with the poem being read by Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure and This Is England, Accused, Taboo – and everyone’s favourite Scouser – actor Stephen Graham.
The film concludes by reminding viewers that despite the hardships we face right now, “we must not quit” and delivers a message that “together, we’ll get through”.
BBC Creative ECD Helen Rhodes said: “This is a time when everyone is pulling together to get through this crisis. We really hope we’ve managed to capture the emotion of that and show the ways in which the BBC is trying to help by using all our resources to keep us connected and bring us closer.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Has BBC Creative pulled it off? Does Idris calm the turbulent waters of Covid-19? Was there a dry eye in the house?
Quite frankly, it’s a case of definitely, undoubtedly, and no chance – and in that order.
Cummings and the Auntie bashers should hold their heads in shame, the BBC is one of the few things in this country for which we can be proud. OK, it’s got its issues, but they can be resolved without resorting to breaking the corporation up. If this film does anything, it proves that British life would be a lot poorer without our old friend.
Decision Marketing Adometer: an emotionally charged 9 out of 10