Bracing and topical stuff from the Guardian’s new ad campaign, Three Little Pigs, which can be viewed here. Created by BBH ad agency, it is, at its very fundamental proposition, a very good piece of content. How is the Guardian positioned? As a multi-platform, adept, versatile, technologically innovative media owner that demonstrates itself to be a source belonging to the new age of media – digital, instant, ‘always there’. The Guardian (or BBH) have really captured the pace and urgency of modern day media here, with social media used as the vehicle to demonstrate how quickly and emphatically news can travel. But there are other tricks employed that make this a great piece of content:
NUMBER ONE: it is based on fairytale – instantly engaging, instantly recongnized, it is a fresh and relevant way to set a story up. Take something nostaligic and give it new meaning or use it to re-tell your tale. Very shrewd move – this is story telling at its best.
NUMBER TWO: they have hi-jacked the (recent-ish)news agenda. Real issues such as ’breaking and entering’ (‘Can killing an intruder ever be justified?’) and the subsequent economic debate on how far depression has spread (‘Public Outrage as Mortgage Defaults Soar’) are littered throughout the piece and serve to highlight the campaigning nature of this newspaper – they cover the issues you care about, don’t let the fairytale kid you.
NUMBER THREE: something else boils beneath the surface, not just the Guardian’s telegraphing of their new modus operandi: Open Journalism. The Huff Po described this advert as hilarious. Really? The Washington Post thought it was ‘viral’. Really? It could be more than this. The Guardian could be, through this consumer facing advertising campaign, sub-conciously re-enforcing their position and authority as THE newspaper that broke the phone-hacking scandal and set British journalism ‘right’ again. By finding the three pigs guilty of framing the big bad wolf (shock horror), they may be showing how, through investigative journalism (in the week that their reporter du jour Nick Davies won a Paul Foot award for hacking expose), the Guardian have unearthed the reality of News International’s supposed news operations and exposed the traditional order to be a fake, a hoax, a make-believe – something they have brought to light. The point they seem to make is that, without this campaigning and trail-blazing approach to their own industry, injustice would have prevailed. Quite an emphatic statement, taken in context of the current Leveson hearing (Ofcom anyone?). Irreverance isn’t dead though: note the raw (pork?) meat and the rubber chicken layed at the foot of the memorial to the wolf- itself headlined by a graffiti style ‘tag’ on the wall at which it is layed. Creative team joke? Maybe, but isn’t it all?