Captain Manchester unmasked in heroic PR campaign

By on Sunday, October 6, 2013

The people of Manchester were treated to their very own superhero mystery recently, but this masked crusader was not interested in fighting crime – instead, his mission was to deliver selfless good deeds.

‘Captain Manchester’, as he dubbed himself, took to the streets in a homemade black and red outfit to pick up litter, hand out umbrellas, help people with their shopping and pay parking fines, whilst taking the occasional selfie along the way.

Captain Manchester getting ready

Picture: Twitter / @Captain_MCR

Within days, the ‘friendly local do-gooder’ had racked up thousands of followers on Twitter, where he chronicled his adventures in 140-character form.

In an interview with the Oldham Chronicle, he revealed the motivation behind his actions: “I got made redundant a little while ago and it started as something to do to fill the time while I look for a new job,’ he told the Oldham Chronicle.

“I’ve got a bit of free time at the minute, so I have no problem helping out in the community or picking up a bit of litter and keeping the streets a bit cleaner.

“I’ve always been a fan of comics and I thought it would be a nice idea to help a few people out while I have time on my hands.”

Captain Manchester pays another parking fine

Picture: Twitter / @Captain_MCR

But despite the apparent altruism of this seemingly ordinary citizen, people soon began to question whether Captain Manchester was actually a well-executed PR stunt.

The clues were there – a willingness to undertake media interviews, the professionally-designed calling cards, a co-ordinated social media campaign. And people were right to be suspicious.

Last week, Manchester Confidential exclusively revealed that Captain Manchester is in fact a guerrilla marketing campaign in aid of a local charity, Forever Manchester.

Captain Manchester ready for action

Picture: Forever Manchester

Tunafish Media, the agency behind the campaign, is led by award-winning producer and director Smudge Jones, and along with colleagues James McDonald and Richard Brooks, he wanted to help raise the profile of the charity.

Smudge said: “I’m an ambassador of Forever Manchester and I’ve been involved with the charity for a long time. Forever Manchester works differently to a lot of charities and we wanted to take this approach and run with it. So we came up with this campaign to find a non-traditional way of reaching new people.”

So far the campaign has been picked up in the Express, Metro and Mirror, but what’s more impressive is that Tunafish are actually a specialist video production agency and this was their first campaign that didn’t involve video.

What people really want to know is, who is the man behind the mask?

“It’s actually one of my friends that’s been wearing the outfit,” Smudge explained, “but I’m not going to blow his cover as he’s enjoyed being Captain Manchester so much that he really wants to keep it going.”

As part of the campaign, a Captain Manchester comic produced by Smudge in collaboration with illustrator Chris Spain will be launched on Wednesday 9 October in order to raise funds for the charity.

Chris Spain and Smudge Jones

Picture: Manchester Confidential

The first edition will be available for £4 on the Forever Manchester website from Thursday, and for a monthly donation of £5, the comic will be delivered straight to your door every month. 100% of your donation will stay within the Greater Manchester area.

Get involved with Forever Manchester at www.forevermanchester.com

Follow Captain Manchester on twitter @Captain_MCR

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