Johnson Tiles celebrates Tower Poppies return to Stoke-on-Trent in 2018

After two and a half years of campaigning, our client Johnson Tiles has announced the ceramic poppies of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation, by Paul Cummins and Tom Piper, will be returning to Stoke-on-Trent in 2018.

In the final year of the tour, commemorating the end of the First World War, Stoke-on-Trent will play host to the iconic tribute, which honours 888,246 fallen soldiers.

Over half of the ceramic poppies were hand-made at Johnson Tiles’ factory in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, by a team of skilled ceramic artists, and we were honoured to help tell the story through an integrated PR and digital marketing campaign, which resulted in record website traffic for the UK manufacturer – a 30% increase compared to the previous period – and a social reach of over a million in just two weeks.

More than five million people visited the poignant installation at the Tower of London in 2014, and a further 1.5 million have since seen the UK Poppy Tour, which means the team is thrilled to welcome the ‘weeping window’ and ‘wave’ to their city.

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Harry Foster, Specialist Products Business Manager at Johnson Tiles, said (in an interview with the Stoke Sentinel): “We were producing 40,000 pieces per week and in four months we had made 413,000 which was pretty much half of the installation. It was a tremendous achievement for us.

“There are many cities that have put in bids to host the installation, it speaks volumes that it will be coming to the Potteries.

“It's a very clear demonstration of the creative ability within the city, there is a tremendous amount of skill and craft here. I can't recall such a large-scale ceramic installation that's had that level of impact with the general public.”

Katy Cowan

Manchester, England,