Alternative Heritage Plaques – Ronnie Pickering

In 2019 Drunk Animal Creative Studio launched a new citywide project across Hull, with the aim of celebrating the weird and wonderful stories that make the city what it is. Our Alternative Heritage project has gained national attention, and one plaque in particular has divided opinions like no other. The now infamous Ronnie Pickering blue plaque.

Hull is a city filled with people… and occasionally those people do things. Some of those things are kind of interesting. Some are pretty funny too. Others are actually quite impressive, and others… well, they’re just weird.

The thing is, we think each of these stories is equally important. They are what makes Hull the city it is today. The weird, the wonderful, the obscure, the fascinating stories and facts that permeate every street and every community in the city are now celebrated through our Alternative Heritage plaques.

Drunk Animal Creative Studio specialise in creating content and campaigns that have the potential to ‘go viral’. A great example of a piece of news taking over the headlines is Ronnie Pickering, whose roadside rant with a biker in 2015 got people talking about road safety, condemning his aggressive behaviour, but most of all crying with laughter. Fast forward to today, and our Alternative Heritage plaque that celebrates him becoming an internet sensation from the comfort of his red Citroen Picasso has sparked tons of online conversation and has been covered by BBC News. The emotional connection people had with Ronnie Pickering (whether they loved or hated it), enabled the plaque story to grow and grow, eventually ending up in LADBible, Radio 2 and Radio 6, The Sun, Daily Mail, Hull Daily Mail and many other platforms.

More than anything, news goes viral because it’s not only shareworthy (the emotional connection) but also easy to share (the functionality of digital platforms). Most news websites have buttons that make sharing a link super easy, plus social media apps are entirely designed around the ability to quickly pass on content with little more than a prod of your finger. The nature of viral news is that you never know what’s coming next, but you can bet your bottom dollar that whatever it is, it will get people talking.