The Guardian The three little pigs

Thinkboxes Winner - January/February 2012

The Thinkboxes - 1st

The winner of the January/ February Thinkboxes was The Guardian with ‘The three little pigs’, its first major brand campaign for more than 20 years.

The aim was to demonstrate The Guardian’s approach to journalism and encourage consumers to recognise it as far more than just a newspaper.

The campaign illustrates its open-journalism model with the retelling of the classic fairy tale. The Guardian wanted to describe the way it offers a broad perspective by showing how even a timeless story could evolve through social media and external contribution.

Richard Furness, head of sales and marketing at The Guardian, says it is proud to have delivered a film people enjoyed, debated and shared.

‘It has sparked debate about the nature of news in the digital landscape and open journalism, and encouraged reappraisal of our brand,’ he adds.

Twitter and Facebook reaction to the TV ad was instantaneous. Subsequent debates showed viewers understood its themes and enjoyed it.

David Pemsel, marketing consultant at Guardian Media Group, says that to deliver a successful brand campaign, one must think globally, be bold and take risks. ‘[This] will pay off if the idea is good enough, the strategy is sound and the campaign is delivered by a team at the top of its game,’ he adds. ‘And don’t underestimate the power of a story well-told.’

The Guardian campaign was voted winner of the January/February 2012 Thinkboxes by Thinkbox’s Creative Academy of ad industry experts. Second came T-Mobile’s ‘What Britain loves’ spot; Durex’s ‘In sync’ took third place.


David Pemsel ‘Don’t underestimate the power of a story well-told’

David Pemsel
Guardian Media Group

  • Client The Guardian
  • Brief Create an ad that would illustrate The Guardian’s new journalism model
  • Ad agency BBH London
  • Creative team David Kolbusz, Matt Fitch, Mark Lewis
  • Production Rattling Stick
  • Director Ringan Ledwidge

Other ads on the podium

T-Mobile What Britain Loves

The Thinkboxes - 2nd The brief here was to help reposition T-Mobile as a value provider by communicating a range of bargain deals throughout the year. It uses the insight that Brits have always loved bagging a good bargain – it’s not really that we don’t have enough money, more about just feeling good. So this ad celebrated that notion by bringing together an eclectic mix of Brits as competitors in the annual Gloucestershire cheese-rolling event (where people run down a steep hill after a round of cheese) – the prize being “The Full Monty” plan from T-Mobile.

Durex In Sync

The Thinkboxes - 3rd It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that sex doesn’t always mean coming together – so Durex, the world’s number-one sex brand, wanted to bridge the climax gap with its new condom, Performax Intense. The campaign, dovetailing with social media activity, tapped into this cultural truth in a fun and tactful way. The 40-second spot featured an appropriate Marvin Gaye track (Let’s Get It On) and used a DJ’s twin record deck set-up to show how speeding her up and slowing him down can produce a mutually satisfying outcome.


Also shortlisted for January/February 2012

Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly Joyville

The goal of this spot was to promote Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly, while simultaneously developing the Joyville story. Joyville is a mythical domain, lying just beneath the surface of the everyday world, where chocolate motivates all activity. Launched in an epic 60-second execution, and supported by a 30-second edit and online activity, the TV ad shows Joyville workers bursting into the real world and distributing chocolate using vehicles of all shapes and sizes, from dirigibles to bubble cars.

Virgin Media Broadband Keep Up

In January, Virgin Media doubled its customers’ broadband speeds. So it made sense to use the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt, to front up this humorous campaign, which saw him trying to pass himself off as Sir Richard Branson. The campaign launched on both TV and Facebook with a series of five-second “Bolt-on” teasers. The next day, the full campaign got under way with a spot setting out the faster broadband message – and it has evolved with further ads showcasing particular customer benefits.

The Thinkboxes January/ February 2012

The winner of the first Thinkboxes of 2012 was The Guardian with ‘The Three Little Pigs’, its first major brand campaign for more than 20 years. Directed by the brilliant Ringan Ledwidge, the aim of this epic ad was to demonstrate the paper’s approach to journalism and encourage consumers to recognise it as far more than just a newspaper. Using the re-telling of the classic fairy tale ‘The Three Little Pigs’, the TV ad demonstrates the way in which The Guardian delivers a broad perspective on the news by showing how even a timeless story can evolve. The Thinkbox Creative Academy chose T-Mobile’s ‘What Britain Loves’ as runner up, whilst third place went to Durex with ‘In sync’. You can find out who made these great ads, and watch them again and again, right here.