Stephen Lawrence Day to be marked with ‘Extraordinary Ordinary’ campaign produced by WPP

Stephen Lawrence Day to be marked with ‘Extraordinary Ordinary’ campaign produced by WPP

A team of WPP agencies create #ExtraordinaryOrdinary, a campaign to mark Stephen Lawrence’s legacy on the 30th anniversary of his death

WPP today reveals its latest pro bono campaign to support the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, marking the 30th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s death.

The campaign will be live in the run-up to Stephen Lawrence Day on Saturday 22 April and is centred around a stirring poem that celebrates Stephen’s legacy under the strapline #ExtraordinaryOrdinary, written by BCW and read by Baroness Lawrence and TV presenter and radio host, Clara Amfo. The creative is brought to life in a TV advert produced by Hogarth that will be featured in slots on Sky and Channel 4 and other national stations from today.

Complementing the TV advert is a nationwide OOH campaign featuring a unique illustration of Stephen. Owing to the limited number of images of Stephen in the public domain, BCW commissioned striking drawings by up-and-coming Black artists to evoke the extraordinary impact of his life. The selected design by Kingsley Nebechi gives a new vibrancy and colour to an existing image, highlighting how young people, through the work and support of the Foundation, can find the extraordinary in the ordinary and fulfil their potential.

Around £1m of pro bono media has been secured by WPP’s media investment companies, GroupM. Media planning was led by EssenceMediacom and includes OOH/DOOH across the nation and OOH across central London, supported by J C Decaux, Alight, Open Media, TFL and Ocean.

Baroness Lawrence, Stephen Lawrence’s mother and Founder and Chair of Trustees at the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, said: “This campaign is a powerful reminder of the continued impact of Stephen’s story and the importance of passing on his legacy to the next generation. Stephen’s life was cut tragically short, but his hope and potential as an ordinary young person who inspired extraordinary change lives on. By striving for a more equitable society, we honour Stephen’s memory and ensure that every other extraordinarily ordinary young person like him has the opportunity to thrive.”

Jess Neil, CEO, Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, said: “The success of this campaign is a testament to the powerful potential of coalition and allyship at corporate scale. This project lies at the intersection of one of the most important generational social justice stories and the boundless imagination of the world’s most compelling storytellers. The diversity of the project team, from the most senior stakeholders to the creatives behind the screen and the talent on it, was a determining factor in the success of the creative process and the power of its output. By retelling Stephen’s story in a joyful and forward-facing way, we can honour his legacy while creating a more hopeful future for the next generation.”

Karen Blackett OBE, President of WPP in the UK, said: “The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation is a driver for change which is why we are proud to partner on this #ExtraordinaryOrdinary campaign. It challenges individuals to live up to their full potential, a possibility denied to Stephen. We hope that #ExtraordinaryOrdinary inspires young people everywhere.”

Pete Way, Executive Creative Director, BCW London said: “The creative direction #ExtraordinaryOrdinary is inspired by Stephen – an ordinary boy who wanted to be an architect and had the potential to be extraordinary. That was taken away from him, but this extraordinary legacy lives on and continues help others.”

WPP first partnered with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation in 2020 to launch the organisation, and this latest campaign forms part of WPP’s anti-racism commitments to help combat racial injustice.

As a continuation of the Foundation’s existing work in youth education and racial equity, the awareness campaign will be underpinned by a special 30th anniversary development programme created to inspire and foster opportunities for young people. This will include a series of talks by successful individuals who have all made their own unique journeys from Ordinary to Extraordinary.

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