One pissed-off little duck!

As the 2011 UK Riots moved North, any oppression displayed in Tottenham was replaced by savage kids wanting leisurewear. I had a rare half-day holiday, I was driving home listening to the radio and I was angry: at the cretins who had ruined the livelihood of others for new trainers, at the North West for letting itself down, but right then (I’m ashamed to say) I was also angry at the “I ♥ MCR” logo that was plastered all over the web and the city. Not that the sentiment bothered me but Manchester is one of the most creative cities on the planet and here they are ripping off New York. I agree that my priorities may be in question but maybe also this was just the one area where I could effect the situation.

I thought of a familiar Manchester slogan, “Let’s ‘ave it!”…thank you Liam. I wrote this out in capitals – it was obvious and epitomised how I was feeling. So before I took the kids to Alton Towers I quickly threw this together at home, tweeted it and asked the guys back at FDHQ (who clearly didn’t have a clue what I was banging-on about) to put it up for the next week as the landing page on our site. Before I had finished riding the Oblivion, the logo had been re-tweeted to over 300,000 people that same afternoon.

A few things came from this germ of an idea. Firstly, if you are passionate about something, pursue it. If you can somehow invigorate design with honesty and energy, do it. Secondly, whilst I’ve always had a working-class attitude towards creativity (as with sport I feel practice makes perfect), I also believe that often the best ideas come from relaxed thinking. It is when your mind is wandering freely that ideas will present themselves.

One of the people who received the tweet was feeling the same way and wanted to fight back against the riots using her own particular skill…and this lead to another, unexpected turn.

Project underdog

Jo Lloyd was also livid about the riots and perhaps being from the same generation as most of the looters she felt the need to shout back. She made a lot of phone calls and by the time she called me she had lined up a music production team, a recording studio for a weekend, a whole swarm of youngsters wanting to sing, a community charity to make best use of any profits and had also secured the rights to a Linkin Park track…we were impressed, and agreed to shoot the video.

In a similar vein to burning books and the social meltdown this symbolises, many of the kids trashing Manchester had attacked a music store and were smashing up the instruments. This music store was a client of ours called Dawsons and one of the damaged instruments was a piano that Dawson’s donated to be shown burning in the video. So from the worry of the riots and trying to use our talents for good over evil, through to the revelation of Nigel’s pyrotechnic tendencies on the evening of the shoot, this was a real adventure for the Ducks.

Project Underdog – Trailer

Project Underdog – Iridescent