Department for International Trade

British exports are alive and kicking

New campaign for the DIT, champions British industry abroad

With the impending fiasco of Brexit on the horizon, it’s not the most straightforward of times to be running a British business especially when you’re looking for customers overseas. But we love a challenge here at The Futz Butler, so felt right at home working on this new campaign for the Department for International Trade: “Exporting is Great”, a series of 30+ films produced by Annex Films for Ogilvy.

The mission was to tell the story of British industries who had found success through exporting; think global, not local and the world can be your oyster. It was a complex production: over the course of several months, the Annex and Ogilvy team visited a large cross-section of businesses all over Britain. Under the skilled eye and questioning of director David Baksh, they told their stories and presented their methods – from chairs shaped from trees to motorbikes, popcorn and “gin from Macclesfield being sold in San Francisco – funny, but brilliant!”

The campaign consisted initially of over 30 films, all telling different facets of the story. Our music brief was clear: to create a track that delivered energy, optimism, and excitement, within a structured arrangement that would work across all films. Head Composer Paul Sumpter set to work and quickly produced a tune that kicked with life from the first beat: an infectious and upbeat guitar hook over a thumping rhythm based on stomps, claps, piano, and percussion, which pleasingly for us sailed through to broadcast master with barely a tweak.

The first set of films had been up and running a few months before Annex came to us with a great proposal; the campaign was flying and an extended 60” ‘Supercut” version was required, could we extend our track to a longer arrangement? We didn’t need asking twice and got to work, with director Baksh’s supervision and input. The track evolved naturally into a 60” with senior producer. Keith Bayley adding electric slide guitar and B3 organ. But the opening shot of the trawler in the English channel needed something special to set the scene – cue harmonica maestro Glen Vaal, blowing the melody hard through an overdriven amp.

The new 60” film was so well-received, there was a new 30” version produced using the same structure and arrangement. Both films are now live online and on VOD.

As the man on the motorbike says: “You have to think big and go big.” Works for us…

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