Gangs of London is an epic 10-part crime drama for Sky Atlantic, charting a violent battle for supremacy in London’s underworld. The brief asked for a campaign that matched the scale and ambition of the show, with its large multi-racial cast, stunning London locations, and complex storyline. We also had the challenge of capturing the “shocking, visceral, visually extraordinary” quality of the drama, to hint at its extreme violence without being explicit.
Our approach to the key art our approach was to create an image that played with the viewer’s perceptions. At first glance we see four shadowy characters in an urban environment of towering skyscrapers – a skyline which on closer inspection turns out to be made up entirely of guns. This gives an ominous hint of the battle to come but also points to one of the show’s main themes: the way organised crime launders its money through the construction of high-rise towers.
Working with photographer Dean Rogers we captured a series of great film-noir style shots of the main cast, as well images of a small arsenal of weapons, which SCA retouch lead Simon Schmitt (with help from Nick Wickens) then use to create the final key art.
The campaign was intended to be one of the biggest of the year but with the coronavirus lockdown all plans changed. All major out of home was cancelled, and our efforts switched to press, UI and moving image. We also doubled our efforts to make sure that the key creative elements – the skyline, our four main characters, and the sense of an impending war – were present in all work, to make for a truly integrated campaign.
We also brought the gun skyline to life for promo endboards and social media.
Gregg Clark and his promo creatives Dan Moore and Paul Jacobs made a fantastic body of Gangs work, for on-air, commercial TV and social, including a standalone mini campaign for social based around the tagline “Watch Your Back”.
This was a brilliant collaborative effort that enabled us to deliver a really consistent, extensive and joined up campaign.