Google signs up Anthony Joshua and Sheridan Smith in support of local high streets

Campaign encourages public to support local businesses.

Google has enlisted heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua and Bafta-winning actor Sheridan Smith for a campaign encouraging the British public to support their local high street in the wake of a turbulent year for small businesses.

Created by Redwood BBDO London, “Dear local” features Joshua and Smith as they discuss their connection to their local areas.

Joshua is shown stopping by by his local MOT test centre in London's Golders Green, while Smith stops for fish and chips in her home town of Epworth in Lincolnshire.

Launching today (27 October), the work was created by Dan Jude, Paul Dixon and David Boa, and directed by Adu Lalouschek. Media is handled by Essence and OMD.

The campaign is part of Google’s commitment to help one million small British businesses stay open by the end of 2021 and encourage the public to leave a review of their local enterprises on Google. 

The work was inspired by research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Google, which found that 88% of Brits feel a more positive connection with their local area since lockdown.

Likewise 70% of local business owners said that they consider word of mouth or online recommendations to be the best way for customers to offer support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Google has also struck a partnership with Channel 4 for a similar campaign, “Businesses we love”, which features presenters Mo Gilligan, Katie Piper and Jimmy Doherty as they visit their favourite local businesses, including a barber, a garden centre and a fishmonger. 

Launching tonight during The Great British Bake Off, the work was directed by Chris Faith through Faithful Hound. The partnership, which is set to run until December, was brokered by 4Sales and OMD UK.

The first episode of the latest series of GBBO earned Channel 4 an average audience of 6.9 million – a 32% share of the total audience watching TV during that period.

Nishma Robb, director of brand, reputation and ads marketing at Google, said: “We are delighted to partner with Channel 4 to show how we can all help local business by leaving a Google review. 

“Massive thanks to Channel 4, Faithful Hound and our partners OMD UK for creating these beautiful spots. And to Katie, Mo and Jimmy for giving us a window into the communities and businesses that mean so much to them.”

Google: ads feature presenter Katie Piper

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