Here at Prohibition, we love getting our creative juices flowing when planning feel-good campaigns that drive results for our clients. In Q1 of 2019, working with our client CEWE UK, we were briefed to deliver a campaign that would uphold CEWE’S position as AN industry expert, maximise brand awareness in the UK, strengthen existing partnerships and forge new relationships with the media and photography influencers. Most importantly however, we wanted to create a feel-good campaign that sparked community engagement and elicited positive feelings and an appreciation for times gone by.

Together with CEWE UK, which is one of Europe’s largest photo printing company, we launched the Life in Colour campaign. We called on those with black and white photos across the UK to post their image to Instagram using the hashtag #ColourMyPhoto, to be in with a chance of having their old images totally transformed into colour. Working with a celebrated photo restoration artist, James Paterson, and several photography influencers, five winners were chosen to have their photos restored to full colour. Winners were gifted with an award-winning CEWE canvas print of their restored photo, so they could treasure and preserve their snapshot of history forever.
Along with CEWE’s key business objectives, our aim was to bring memories back to life using modern technology to both restore and colourise historic monochrome images from across the UK. The initiative helped shed light on what life was like prior to colour photography and film being introduced en masse in the 1970’s.
The campaign proved a great success in the media with 11 pieces of press coverage, two of which were in national titles – the Mail Online and The Daily Express – and two in target photography titles. We had 2,171 visitors to the competition landing page and 5,164 views of our campaign video, and increased organic reach across CEWE’s Instagram channels by 10,000 in April and May. In total, we reached an amazing 2.4 million people in our target audience across media and influencer relations.
In addition to achieving the key business objectives and some quality coverage, one of the most wonderful reactions was an email from a reader of The Daily Express who recognised their own family member in one of the winning entries. The photo depicts the winner’s grandfather, alongside his fellow sailors, aboard the HMS Spearhead in Hong Kong harbour on 2nd of September 1945 – the same day that the surrender of Imperial Japan was formally signed, bringing the hostilities of World War II to a close. The winner was thrilled to hear that a reader had recognised a loved one in his photo, and the two were put in contact to share stories past down from their relatives.
While every campaign we do here at Prohibition is results driven and client-focussed, we were proud to work on a campaign that sparked so much enthusiasm on social media and in the press, rekindled an interest in history and even brought people together to share stories of their family past. Take a further look at the campaign here.

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About Bryony Nuttall