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The Wrap: Mark Beaumont, Chief Creative Officer of Dinosaur


Each Friday in The Wrap, one of the North’s leading media and creative figures will be giving us their take on the news covered by Prolific North over the last seven days.

This week it’s the turn of Mark Beaumont, chief creative officer of Dinosaur.

The national news this week was dominated by political noise both from here and across the Atlantic. Emotions are running high. And whether it’s party slogans for a snap election or reports of a snap dismissal, it seems to be all fear and little cheer.

The Wrap: Guy Cookson, partner at Hotfoot Design

That’s why it was so good to see Bolton’s favourite son, Peter Kay providing some light relief on Prolific North.

I was especially pleased to hear that the second series of his surprise hit comedy, Car Share became the most popular iPlayer comedy of the year so far. To date it’s racked up nearly 11m requests.

So how has a drama about two colleagues driving to and from work managed it? Car Share could have easy fallen flat. But it doesn’t. It’s Kay’s insightful storytelling that drives it – the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship between John and Kayleigh has really struck an emotional chord.

Despite its success, Peter Kay has left his car at home for good to follow in the footsteps of Sly Stallone and Kermit the Frog. This week we saw the first images for the latest Warbutons campaign.  It’s a great match, Peter grew up around the corner from the factory and the Warbutons brand is warm, friendly and doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’m looking forward to seeing the result of this playful connection between the two.

Staying in Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham began his first days in office as Mayor of Manchester after his landslide election victory last week. On Monday, he launched his Mayoral Homelessness Fund to which he has pledged 15% of his salary. Homelessness was an issue raised time and time again at his manifesto events.

It’s an emotive subject for all of us living and working in Manchester. The crisis facing the city is there for us all to see. Our recent work with Manchester Homelessness Partnership and Big Change has given us a valuable insight into how complex and wide ranging the issues are. There are no quick fixes.

Whether Andy Burnham can reach his 2020 target to end rough sleeping in Manchester remains to be seen, but putting his money where his mouth is certainly a positive start.

Finally, the news of falling advertising revenues at ITV also caught my eye. What might look like bad news for iTV on the surface, may not be. If you scratch a little deeper than the headlines, there’s lots to be positive about, especially when looking through a creative lens. Most significantly, whilst TV ad revenue fell, revenue from content creation at the iTV studio rose by 7%. For me, that shows that a good story always creates connection and opportunity.

So, whether you’re dramatising your commute to work or crowdsourcing your mayoral manifesto, one thing becomes clear: The power of emotive storytelling wins through.

Long may it continue.

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