John Smith’s: Only Ordinary By Name


John Smith’s approached Trinity Mirror to help them celebrate the Great British boozer. We were tasked with bringing to life the brand proposition of ‘Only Ordinary By Name’, running a nationwide campaign to find the country’s most extraordinary pub.


Just like our local titles, pubs are firmly at the heart and in the hearts of the local community. We all have our 'go-to' pub; that pub in our area that we never get bored of popping into for a quick pint. But Britain is changing and we're losing up to 800 pubs a year.

We know however that Modal Brits love their community, and want to keep what is best about them. So that meant fighting (and voting!) for their favourite pubs. Pubs that are bursting with character. Great British pubs and publicans that are only ordinary by name and mean extraordinary things to the people that visit them. 


To find Britain’s best pub that was ‘Only Ordinary By Name’, we set out to tell a story with a local voice, at a national scale. To do this we used our Big Local package – 26 titles across the UK – together with the Daily Mirror. Comedian Paddy McGuiness also came on board to front the campaign (loved by our readers and a perfect brand ambassador for John Smith’s), featuring in our launch video, asking the nation for their nominations.

Once entries were received and a shortlist drawn up, we used our Big Local titles to get readers voting for their favourite local, with the winners celebrated in special one page features. With this final shortlist of regional winners, a panel of judges (including members of our editorial team) were ready to decide which pub would become the national winner – with The Royal Oak in Huddersfield taking the crown. The Royal Oak won for its commitment to the community, regularly raising money for local causes and hosting events, including a panto at Christmas! Paddy surprised the landlady Jeanne with her £5,000 prize, providing a great opportunity for video content. We celebrated the winner in the Daily Mirror, and its local title, the Huddersfield Examiner.


  • Over 500 nominations received
  • Over 6000 votes throughout the regional heats
  • We reached 8.4 million adults across the campaign, including 5.6 million of John Smith’s target audience of 35+ men
  • And some great news from landlady Jeanne on how she is planning to spend the prize money; tackling loneliness in the community by hosting a weekly Home Alone club for elderly people who are in need of some company and a friendly day together