Crafting 'No Room For Racism': A Sonic Tribute to Diversity

Lawrence Kendrick takes us through his collaboration with BBH and FRIEND and their sonic tribute to diversity, meticulously planning how to convey the message through sound.

I love working on commercials and promos. The challenge of building a dynamic, engaging sonic story into 60 seconds is just so fun and rewarding. But now and then a job comes along with a message that is truly important and resonates with me. ‘No Room For Racism’ isn’t just another job; it's a testament to the power of sound and a resounding message that the fight against racism is far from over. The project carries a powerful sonic narrative that champions a noble cause: our unwavering commitment to diversity and unwavering stance against racism.

The mission of the campaign is crystal clear: to illuminate the invaluable contributions and greatness of diverse players in the Premier League and to send an emphatic message that racism has no place in our society.

Our journey commences literally with a kickoff, as a player on the television screen takes a penalty, propelling the ball (and us) into space.

Collaborating with the creative team at BBH, we carefully planned how to represent the message the film is conveying. The top of the film is dynamic, explosive and fun, creating little gags like the heavenly choir, before the pivotal moment arrives when we introduce a void, not only visually with players being zapped out of reality, but through sound, symbolising what the Premier League would be without its diverse players—a stark, hollow void. The lack of sound is always a bold choice (another example that comes to mind is the Light Speed scene in ‘The Last Jedi’) and one that is easily forgotten. In the world of sound design, we're constantly exploring captivating theories and concepts. ‘Sound Semiotics’ theory delves into how sounds convey meaning and symbolism. It's like a secret language of audio that can subtly influence our perception of a narrative and something I often try and weave into my work. In the "No Room For Racism" campaign, sound semiotics play a crucial role by allowing us to use sound to convey the message of isolation and the consequences of racism. It adds an extra layer of depth to our storytelling, letting the sounds themselves become messengers of powerful ideas.

As we transition to this represented silence, the audience is transported to a world without diversity—a world that feels chilling and unsettling. It's not just an absence of sound; it's an absence of life, a void of passion and vibrancy. It's a reminder of the destructive consequences of exclusion and discrimination.

Just as swiftly as the silence envelops us, we welcome back the symphony of music and effects, celebrating the diversity that defines the Premier League. This transformation paints a joyous and celebratory ending, reaffirming the campaign's central message: that true fans of the sport value and support diversity.

In a world where racism continues to persist, "No Room For Racism" emerges as a powerful voice, advocating for change. Its bold direction, both visually and sonically, invites us to reflect on the importance of diversity, not just in sports but in all aspects of life.

"No Room For Racism" is a testament to the unyielding commitment to diversity, the rejection of racism, and the power of sound to amplify a message of change.

Sound Designer:
Lawrence Kendrick
Audio Producer:
Olivia Endersby
Music Composer:
Chris Casino, Clap London

Agency :
BBH London
Alex Grieve
Creative Director:
Neil Clarke
Creative Director:
Jay Phillips
Charlie Pendarves
Art Director:
Chloe Stephenson
Agency Film Producer:
Victoria Doran
Agency Assistant Film Producer:
Ted MacDonnell

Production Company:
Eshan Bhatti
Kwok Yau
Fabian Wagner
Lucian Barnard and Sam Allen Deliverance Post Production
Editor Assistant:
Brendan Feely Deliverance Post Production
Post-Production Company:
Coffee & TV
Post-Production Producer:
Thom G.
Creative Director/Project Lead:
Steve Waugh