This Netflix promo isn’t digital. It’s out there in the real world in the UK and it has purpose larger than getting people to watch the third and final season of British black comedy-drama series, After Life, with Ricky Gervais, which launched on January 14.
It’s a series of inscriptions on park benches. The campaign by agency, made by blah, with Netflix and suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), takes a pivotal and recurring scene from all three series – the park bench – and translates it into real life by installing twenty-five permanent benches in key locations around the UK.
Netflix asked made by blah to create something memorable and special that drives positive conversation about the show and its portrayal of grief. Benches play an integral part of some of the most memorable moments in After Life, as well as serving as important places for reflection and remembrance in our day-to-day life.
Those who visit a bench will be able to access resources from CALM via a unique QR code with the wording, “Life can be tough, but there’s always hope. Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is by your side.” The resources are also available online at a dedicated site.
Each of made by blah’s Benches of Hope is inscribed with a simple but significant quote from the show, Hope is Everything, inviting people to take a moment to think or connect with someone else around them. A plaque on the bench adds, “This bench is donated by Netflix to commemorate Ricky Gervais’ After Life.”
The benches are spread across the UK in locations such as Bath, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Taunton and Surrey Heath.
Oli Cole, founding director of made by blah, commented, “Instead of doing an ad, we wanted to build a lasting and authentic legacy for After Life. Our ambition is to get the nation to talk about the theme of hope by creating inviting places where people can connect with others.”
Simon Gunning, chief executive officer, CALM, added, “Park benches provide opportunities to reflect, talk to someone, sit shoulder to shoulder with someone and get things off your chest. That is why we’re delighted to team up with Netflix to put benches in parks across the country – inscribed with that crucial line from the show, “Hope is everything” – to help people have those conversations and to show it’s normal to have those feelings.”
Ashford, Victoria Park, TN23 4QA
Bath, Sydney Gardens, BA2 6NH
Birmingham, Cofton Park, B45 8UN
Bristol, Ashton Court, BS41 9JN
Cardiff, Parc Cefn Onn, CF14 0EP
Cardiff, Victoria Park, CF5 1EZ
Edinburgh, Calton Hill, EH1 3BJ
Falmouth, Gyllyngdune Gardens, TR11 4LY
Glasgow, Glasgow Green, G1 5QA
Liverpool, Stanley Park, L21 9JR
Liverpool, Woolton Walled Gardens, L25 7TX
London, Highgate Wood, N10 3JN
London, Parliament Hill, NW3 2TA
London, Queens Park, NW6 6SG
London, Ravenscourt Park, W6 0TZ
London, Rookery Gardens and Woodland, SW16 3HR
London, York House Gardens, TW1 3DD
Manchester, Wythenshawe Park, M23 0AB
Minehead, Blenheim Gardens, TA24 5QA
Newcastle, Exhibition Park, NE2 4PZ
Nottingham, Arboretum, NG7 4HF
Nottingham, Highfields Park, NG7 2RD
Surrey Heath, Lightwater Country Park, GU18 5RG
Taunton, Vivary Park, TA1 3SX
Final bench – to be revealed
Agency: made by blah
Executive Creative Directors: Oli Cole & Jim Townsend