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Marketing Martech Audio

Why Manchester’s Metrolink asked Liam Gallagher to see it, say it and sort it

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By Gordon Young | Editor-in-Chief

October 12, 2023 | 5 min read

The Drum’s founder, Gordon Young, is a fan of Manchester’s big new transit audio brand and Oasis in a desert of dullness.

Train

I love that Liam Gallagher, the Oasis frontman, has been commissioned to lend his voice to Manchester’s Metrolink tram network.

It is a great example of a growing trend to embed creative thinking in the most unexpected places. Instead of an official voice announcing the names of local stations, passengers will rather hear the distinct tones of Gallagher.

The stunt marks the launch of the Bee Network, a new integrated transport offering, and a festival, Beyond the Music.lg

The singer, a Manchester City supporter, extends his brief as the tram passes the club’s Etihad Stadium, where he announces, “Home of the champions of England and the champions of Europe. Come on, City’”

The fresh approach has done the job of creating a talking point and generating much media comment. It is a reminder of a point made by John Hegarty in The Drum, where he argued why it is more important than ever that creative thinking permeates an entire organization.

He wrote, “A large proportion of organizations still build a wall around creativity, with the assumption that there are haves and have-nots. Companies feature creative departments that house people thought to operate on some alternate plane to everyone else (‘Oh well, you’re creative, aren’t you?’).

“This sort of thinking, where creativity is the remit of a chosen few, prevents organizations from using it more widely.”

But of course, what is creative is also as important as who is creative. In that area, the definition is being stretched, too. This was illustrated as part of a fascinating debate during The Drum Design Awards judging.

You’d assume design was a visual craft. However, two entries challenged this. One was based on audio. The other was using a material that did not change the look of the product.

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So, did this qualify?

One of our judges, Hiten Bhatt of RAPP, made the point perfectly. Even though they were not visual ideas, he argued, they represented great design thinking.

Quite right. And the same goes for the idea of using Liam Gallagher for the Metro network. Let’s hope the team behind ‘See It. Say it. Sorted’ commissions him next.

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