A poet who turned down a sales job to write has seen his poetry go national in a multi-million pound advert.

Aspiring poet Jeremiah Brown, from Addiscombe, was handpicked by Nationwide building society for their 'voices of the people' campaign, which launched last year.

The 22-year-old, known as Sugar J Poet was challenged to create a poem about loneliness and connectivity, a poem he said that was ‘already brewing’ before he got the call.

Jeremiah said: “The Nationwide poem was something that I was thinking about; communication and social media. I have to be inspired in some way, shape or form.  I had been thinking about it for a while and then they asked me to write about social interaction.“

The campaign aimed to make the concept of a building society more relevant to a new generation of members.

Filmed at the Sheperdess Café in Old Street, the advert features Jeremiah alone with his phone.

He said: “The exposure is good, I have gone and done stuff that I wouldn’t be able to do before. One of my proudest moments, was when a cleaner at East Croydon station came up to me and said ‘I am so proud of you. I saw you on TV’. I thought to myself ‘a guy I see every day knows me’.”

Jim Thornton, of VCCP – the creative company behind the advert for Nationwide – said: “Each of these poets brings a raw honesty to the words they have written, the subjects they’ve chosen and the way in which they are performed. It’s rare and refreshing to see such authenticity in a world of advertising artifice. Sometimes, advertising is at its most effective when the hand of the client and agency can be least detected.”

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