It’s very rare to see any sort of advertisement for a newspaper – let alone a TV commercial as clever and well produced as the one created for the Guardian. The aim of the ad was to let current and potential readers know that Britain’s Guardian newspaper excels in covering the day’s news stories from a multitude of angles and on a variety of platforms.
They deliver this message by reinventing the classic children’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ story into a modern real life drama. In this reinvented fable, the Three Little Pigs burn the wolf alive as they did in the original fable. Then begins the modern twist where they are arrested by a British swat team, which brings on a mass frenzy of talk from the public via social media platforms such as twitter. AFter analysis and witness testimonies declare that the wolf was unable to blow down a house made of sticks, let alone a straw house, due to his asthma, the Three Little Pigs are found guilty in the end of trying to commit insurance fraud by blowing their own house down. This goes on to sparks global riot because the mortgage system. And throughout the story, the Guardian is there to cover it all across a multitude of media platforms.
The advert, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) won multiple awards, most prominently the Cannes Lion awards in the film and film craft categories. Another prestigious award they received was the Grand CLIO Award in the film category.
The CLIO Awards are prestigious international awards recognizing the world’s most creative and innovative work in a broad range of media and communications. The 54th Annual CLIO Awards celebrate and reward the year’s best work in advertising, design, interactives and communications with a Winner’s Gallery and Awards Ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History on May 15, 2013.
This recognition follows on from previous accolades awarded to Three Little Pigs including: The Eurobest Awards, Business Insider’s 10 Best Ads of 2012, The British Arrow Craft Awards, TED: Ads Worth Spreading and The Adweek Awards 2012.
This advert was their first major TV spot for 25 years and as I briefly said above, the aim of the campaign was to promote the paper’s ‘open journalism‘ approach – its name for the way in which it is attempting to involve its readership in not just commenting on stories, but contributing to and even determining its news agenda.
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media said that: “Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,” and that: “The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.”
You can watch the Guardian Three Little Pigs below:
Director: Ringan Ledwidge
You can compare the new ad to the 1986’s classic Points of View by BMP (indeed the Guardian itself has said that the new ad is a “nod’ to the old one. They share an end-line: The Whole Picture).
Points of View interestingly enough got its message over succinctly and elegantly, whilst the Three Little Pigs was less focussed and lengthier. This can be seen as a reflection of the changing nature of media – newspapers are now less about relating THE story and more about acting as a platform for multiple strands around a topic to be explored by multiple participants, including the readers themselves, in real-time. However even though the messaging is dragged out across 2 minutes instead of 30 seconds, it is still an amazing advert in its own right.
According to Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Guardian’s parent company Guardian Media Group,”The aim is to reach progressive audiences and show them why they should spend time with us.”
You can watch the Guardian Points of view below:
Reviewing The Three Little Pigs Advert:
The cinematography in this advert is great. The use of camera shots and overlaying graphics is superbly achieved in this advert and helps to make it engaging and fun to watch. It is no wonder why this advert went on to win so many awards. Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) delivered a great piece of advertising for the Guardian. 5/5
As stated above, the aim of the advert was to show off the Guardian’s Open Journalism approach, and this advert that message is delivered in a thought provoking manner. The advert itself first captures your attention, and then through the use of showing a multitude of media platforms, it delivers the message that the Guardian set out to deliver. 5/5
Although the advert is two minutes long and would initially make you think that it is a long advert, in reality it isn’t. The pace of the soundtrack used, the cuts, and most importantly the story used in the advert all combine to make it a fantastic and attention grabbing advert. The pace of the advert feels perfect for what it is and delivers the message perfectly in those two minutes. 5/5
The sound is interesting and captures the attention of the audience in a cinematic and thought provoking way. The sound makes the whole story dramatic and fast paced, making the entire advert interesting to watch which helps to deliver the message in a fantastic manner. The film-esque dramatic music tracks really bring out the story of the advert and make it into a great piece of advertising work to watch. 5/5
What about you?
Do you think that this advert deserved all the awards it received? Would this advert make you start reading the Guardian? Do you think that the modern twist on the classic Three Little Pigs fable was any good? What is your opinion of the actions and behaviour of the Three Little Pigs in this TV spot? I’d love to see your feedback in the comments below.