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Google UK has launched Dear Local, an integrated ad campaign to drive support of local businesses across the UK, created by global agency partner Redwood BBDO.

Conceived in partnership with Hill & Knowlton, the work sees heavyweight boxer Anthony Joshua and Bafta-winning actor Sheridan Smith each tell the story of their connection to their local area, in support of local businesses everywhere affected by the impact of COVID-19. 

The Dear Local message is inspired by insights from new research conducted by YouGov on behalf of Google. The survey revealed 88% of Britons feel a more positive connection to their local area since lockdown, and 70% of local business owners consider word of mouth or online recommendations to be the best way for customers to offer support in today’s challenging climate.

Google – Dear Local: Anthony Joshua

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Filmed in Golders Green in London and Epworth in Lincolnshire respectively, the spots were developed, shot and edited, from concept to post-production, by Redwood BBDO; after initial conceptual work with Hill & Knowlton. Each features genuine local businesses chosen by the two stars – including cafes, restaurants, a garage, florist and garden centre.

The playful ads, which also feature real business owners and staff, follow Joshua and Smith to their local high streets as they call on viewers to support local businesses they love by leaving an online review. According to Google research, 51% of local businesses believe online reviews can boost business.

The Dear Local campaign builds on Google’s commitment to help 1 million small British businesses stay open by the end of 2021.

Sheridan Smith OBE, BAFTA-winning actress said: “I’ve always loved my home town of Epworth for the people, the kindness – and of course, the chips and gravy. It’s been so great to be able to shine a light on some of my favourite local places for this Dear Local campaign with Google.”

Google – Dear Local: Sheridan Smith

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