A consortium of Australian businesses has launched an initiative to get Victorians back out and enjoying the city of Melbourne, now that lockdown restrictions are well and truly being rolled back. The campaign, called Let’s Melbourne Again, will see a number of events, activities and freebies over the coming months to support the city’s economic recovery and generate confidence after one of the strictest lockdowns in the world.

At the centre of the campaign is an ad narrated by Yorta Yorta rapper Briggs. The video was filmed by a group of local photographers and filmmakers, and features a montage of people getting ready to leave their homes as Briggs lists a bunch of quintessentially Melbourne activities.

“Let’s get ready to walk the bluestones again. Let’s curse Punt Road. Let’s ride the Frankston line. Let’s dodge swooping maggies. Let’s cross the inglorious river. Let’s get ready to chuck hook turns in the rain,” he declares.

“Let’s order obnoxious coffees. Let’s queue for dimmies. Let’s avoid outbound on the Tulla. Let’s wear the blackest black. Let’s Gertrude. Let’s Bay. Let’s Bourke. Let’s Hoddle. Let’s Melbourne again.”

The campaign kicks off with a buy-one-get-one-free pint of Carlton Draught courtesy of CUB, which is donating free kegs to more than 500 Melbourne venues. 7-Eleven is giving away five $1000 fuel vouchers to encourage people to once again get behind the wheel, and ANZ has launched its City Sounds program, which will see buskers performing on the streets once again.

“We’ve lost that Melbourne swagger, that confidence,” says campaign spokesperson Jim Gall. “We know the lockdown has had a huge impact on unemployment, but from midnight tonight we are going to see businesses reopen and we want people to feel confident and comfortable getting back out there.”

Gall is the CEO of Melbourne-based advertising and marketing agency Clemenger BBDO, which spearheaded the campaign along with media agencies PHD and OMD. He says they were motivated to do something for Melbourne after they saw Sydneysiders emerge from lockdown anxious and weary.

Businesses, organisations and institutions involved in the campaign include the City of Melbourne, La Trobe University, the AFL, Australia Post, BMW, Tennis Australia, Village Cinemas, Myer and Crown Melbourne. Arts Centre Melbourne, the Melbourne Theatre Company, the NGV, Beyond Blue and Buxton Contemporary are also supporters.

In addition to giveaways and events for punters, the campaign will help small businesses with a range of free resources and services. (Consulting firm PWC, for example, is offering free advice.)

“On the weekend our sporting teams won everything, but we haven’t yet won that business race. We want to inspire, influence, and most importantly, restore hope and support the economic recovery of our great city,” says Gall.

He recommends following the Let’s Melbourne Again Instagram account to see the deals as they’re rolled out.