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Welcome to Never Normal Brighton

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Designate to The Rescue

Now I know I shouldn’t as it doesn’t matter but I am someone who occasionally gets a little agitated in a social media kind of way by the use of those incredibly annoying marketing buzzwords. In 2020 many got on my socially distanced tits.

By June the term “new normal” was starting to grate. In August I was getting rattled by a swathe of “unprecedented times” and by the end of the year the number of “agile” businesses who announced they had been forced to “pivot” had forced me straight into a self-imposed lockdown.

With the BBC ludicrously deciding to welcome in the New Year in this New Normal with Alicia Keys New York it was pretty clear that whilst 2021 was always going to be new it was never going to be normal.

Just days into 2021 I needed my spirits raised and it came this week as I watched an interview on Travelmole and listened to the back story about a marketing campaign undertaken by Brighton-based brand and creative agency Designate for Visit Brighton.

Home From Home

Titled “Never Normal” it gets under the skin of Brighton and perfectly encapsulates a city that has never been normal. As the team at Designate has so expertly recognised this is exactly why it is so special. It’s not always because of its quintessential beach, the pier, the Brighton rock or the fish n chips. It’s so much about those pretty little graffiti-strewn side streets, the Bohemian ambience, the street music, the carefree fashion, its dark and dingy clubs and above all its unique and creative people who have always been so open-minded and welcoming wherever you are from and whatever your views.

Pretty much all my life I have lived within a skimming stone or two of Brighton. As lads, we jumped on the train for a Saturday night pub crawl around the North Laines and those wonderfully cool backstreet bars. In those late 80s days, we ended up at the glitzy soulless clubs like the Pink Coconut or the Event and then as we moved into the 90s and as our tastes in both venue, fashion and music changed, it was over to those darker cooler establishments like the Zap or the Gloucester.

Today wherever you travel to, you are pulled towards the well-known tourist attractions, the family entertainments to shut the kids up for an hour or the familiar restaurant names and bars to check in on Instagram in the hope of attracting half a dozen likes from people who have checked in at the same restaurant with the same ambience, eating the same food but in another corner of the country.

Attitude & Edge

The truth is Brighton has always been naughty, it always had attitude and an edge and it has never been about material things…. people tend not to brag in Brighton… unless you were Chris Eubank back in the day driving around the narrow streets in an American truck the size of a leisure centre. Then again even that was bizarre, so why the hell not?

A few times each year I head down to Brighton like I did back in those days of white socks, pencil leather ties and Depeche Mode. Back then after a handful of diamond whites, it was in the hope of catching the eye of a pretty girl that attracted me. Today it’s to savour good times, share memories with old friends and revel in the ambience of a city that should be celebrated.

Brighton is different and I love how this bold campaign has been constructed. I applaud the team at Designate for this very different approach that highlights the essence and the magic of Brighton which is something you cannot just see or touch!

The city has always been on my doorstep and has given me so many memories. This campaign has certainly inspired me to visit again and I for one can’t wait to meet, certainly not”touch base”, with friends in a buzzy little independent bar, drinking craft beer while recounting stories of old in what has always been, and always will be, the wonderfully “Never Normal” Brighton.


Designate is an independent creative agency based in Brighton in the United Kingdom and is the clever people behind the Visit Brighton Never Normal campaign.

T: 01273 404 040
W: www.designate.com

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