Shropshire Star

Bridgnorth pub's live music poster goes viral

A quirky poster for a Bridgnorth pub has become a huge success, attracting thousands of followers online.

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Designer Dave Blackhurst has been hailed for his simple design for The Friars, after friend Tom Hughes sent him a text message asking for a poster to promote its music nights.

Dave took the request literally, and reproduced the exchange to make the poster.

The advert has attracted huge attention online, being seen thousands of times and has even been praised by marketing gurus.

Sweden-based designer Tom Wysocki spoke of his admiration for the idea and the image has had more than 12,000 retweets and 28,000 likes on social media.

Mr Hughes, 30, who runs the pub on St Mary’s Street with co-owner James Knott said he couldn’t believe the attention that the poster had attracted.

He said: “I thought it was something a little different, I didn’t know it would go down as well as it has.

“I’ve seen people stopping and having a look at it so it has been quite effective. I had a message on Monday saying it has gone viral and it had about 3,000 likes on Facebook. And on Tuesday it just went crazy.

“We’ve had lots and lots of people messaging us as well and the website views have gone up.

“It has really done a good job.”

And the irony is that the designer doesn’t even own an iPhone or a smartphone that would create messages like those seen on the poster.

Mr Blackhurst, 61, who works as a copy editor and proofreader, said he is a regular in the Friars and designed posters for the pub’s music nights last year. He said Tom asked him to do the same this year but wanted to do something a bit different.

He said: “Last year the posters were pretty standard, just the names of the bands. But when you do the same style, it is like people read them before they have even walked past.”

“So I was thinking about it walking around town, whether to do a 60s style, a 30s style, but I thought it has all been done before. That’s when I came up with the idea to imagine the conversation between me and Tom.

“The irony is I don’t have a smartphone, I have a Nokia C2, so it took me about three minutes to come up with the idea but a few hours to put it together with an online message generator and photoshop.”

He said he was surprised at the reaction the poster has had.

He said: “I was happy with people walking past the pub and having a bit of a wry smile.”