Actor David Verdaguer (Nit i Dia, Estiu 1993, Perfect Life …) tells that in the first advertisement that he filmed “for money” when he was very young, he felt “a phony”. He ‘sold’ a car when in real life he did not have “no driver’s license.”
Quite the opposite than now, when he has starred in ‘Barcelona, guarda’m lloc’, the advertising campaign and posters with which bars and restaurants, with the firm support of the city council , try to regain the trust of their customers and relaunch their tables and bars as a “meeting point” and of that “socialization” so longed for. Of course, also revive their failed income in the long 15 months of drastic restrictions for the hospitality industry.
So Verdaguer has been “fortunate and consistent” promoting the restoration of Barcelona. “They are my offices, there I study my texts. Sometimes I think I do theater for the cane afterwards ”, he joked in the presentation this Tuesday of the initiative, which will last for more than two months and an investment of more than 300,000 euros, of which the council contributes about 200,000, including the banners to show off the posters where the actor appears moving a chair.
With this piece of furniture he travels through iconic spaces such as La Rambla, Barceloneta or El Born before finishing planting it on the terrace of Pez Vela, next to the Nova Bocana of the port along the first advert that is presented (of three) and that will be broadcast through digital channels, explained the director ofGremi de Restauració de Barcelona, Roger Pallarols.
Extras of all colors
And be very careful with the customers who appear on that terrace. As background extras, two former mayors of different sign stand out, Joan Clos and Xavier Trias, while at other tables no more and no less than 13 former councilors mix with enough distance : from the eco-socialist Imma Mayol to Paco Narváez, Jordi William Carnes and Carles Martí (PSC); Alberto Fernández Díaz and Xavier Mulleras (PP); and Sònia Recasens and Mercè Homs (CiU), among others.
The message could not be clearer: if there is an issue that has achieved consensus over ideologies during the pandemic, it has been support for restoration. Not only because the sector moves 70,000 jobs in the Catalan capital, but for being one of the most longed for scenes of that daily life that on March 14, 2020 flew through the air.
‘Guarda’m lloc’ becomes the rallying cry of businessmen, chefs, waiters and suppliers reactivated from the time extension to “recover lost time, important moments” and “be part of the awakening of the city” claims the philosophy of the Bell. For Pallarols it is a matter of “optimism, overcoming and recovering the open character that the pandemic kidnapped us.”
Verdaguer’s voice in that first spot tempts with a chair to spend the afternoon chattering, starting a meeting or a “story to explain”. His message is supported by three other actors delivered to the terrace: Yolanda Ramos, Melanie Olivares and David Solans, evoking the best ” bon appetit “, “good times together” and elbows at the bar.
Relaunch the city
Like a fish in water, the first deputy mayor of Economic Promotion, Jaume Collboni (PSC), has also been shown , whose entry into the Ada Colau municipal government team has been decisive in reconciling the hospitality industry with the city council.
They have gone from cutting terraces to multiplying them to give an economic outlet to businesses in times of pandemic in which interior capacity did not allow restaurateurs to survive. The mayor is “optimistic” about the recovery of the sector and the city, where he already sees “signs” of a comeback, encouraging the population to participate. For Pallarols, “stabilization is the first step towards reactivation”, which will imply a long road ahead, he stressed, with more restraint.
The president of the same union, Pere Chias , is clear that the pandemic has made them fight “with their arms tied behind them” and that now they are beginning to find “strength” in that alliance – “like never before” – with the administration that has meant expand more than 3,100 terraces and preserve 2,000 jobs, in the face of a normal hourly horizon.
While the reinforcement of tourism arrives, the “citizenship” to which they are called to reserve their tables will mean the opportunity to maintain the local offer of bars and restaurants , for which there is still no closed death toll.
Those present have not released a pledge on how many of these new watchmen will remain (in addition to the cattle on the road, as has already been reiterated), although they promise imminent news about the criteria and aesthetic prototypes to make them final.