The Guardian has unveiled a new ad campaign across select European cities to drive subscriptions to its new international news magazine, Guardian Weekly. The campaign – powered by in-house creative agency OLIVER in partnership with Omnicom Media Group’s PHD
– hopes to target new Guardian Weekly readers in Europe who want to be well-informed, but not overwhelmed by today’s news.
has today launched a new marketing effort in Berlin and Dublin for its international news magazine, Guardian Weekly
. The activity includes static and digital out-of-home advertising in both capital cities, including billboards and posters, plus prominent placement in Dublin’s sought-after digital Golden Square and its public transport buses.
Based around the central tagline ‘Find clarity’, the campaign presents the Guardian Weekly as a way for readers to digest news differently, offering a global perspective and ‘a pause for thought’ moment in an increasingly chaotic and confusing world.
The ads feature bold, surrealist artwork from illustrator Rafael Alejandro
that depict three global news events – Coronavirus, Trump and the environment – with each design running alongside an accompanying statement that ‘The world is…’ ‘confusing’ (Coronavirus), ‘absurd’ (Trump), and ‘in crisis’ (the environment). A related Guardian Weekly cover appears next to the illustrations, inviting people to ‘Find clarity’, with the clustered imagery juxtaposed against the calm, clear Guardian Weekly magazine.
A special 3D build of the creative will also feature in Dublin, designed to create the illusion of a Guardian Weekly cover popping out of the poster, while additional activity is planned on digital and social media, including ads on YouTube and Twitter.
Kate Davies, director of brand and awareness, Guardian News and Media, said: "From politics to the climate crisis, we know that European readers turn to the Guardian for a global perspective. Our Guardian Weekly magazine offers a weekly digest of news from across the world, allowing people to step back from the day-to-day, reflect and find clarity. Working with OLIVER to illustrate these uncertain times, we have designed a visually striking creative to promote Guardian Weekly and highlight the Guardian’s strength in offering global readers clear and trusted journalism on the issues that matter."
Creative director, OLIVER agency, Sam Jacobs, added: “Our new Guardian Weekly campaign was based on a key reader insight – that reading the news in 2020, while vital and at times enthralling, can be overwhelming. Guardian Weekly gives readers a measured, global perspective on current events, effectively turning confusion into clarity. We worked with illustrator Rafael Alejandro to create some beautifully chaotic illustrations that allows the calm side of the ads to feel visually serene. As the Guardian’s dedicated in-house team, we collaborated seamlessly with colleagues during lockdown and beyond to deliver this project at a time when readers need it most.”
The Guardian’s European audience has grown significantly in recent years and now accounts for around 17% of the Guardian’s total page views – nearly double what was in 2016. The demand for Guardian Weekly has also increased in recent months. The magazine has seen a 15% growth in its overall subscription base since lockdown and coronavirus restrictions were imposed around the world, with Germany (+23%) and Ireland (+77%) emerging as some of the highest growth regions for the publication in Europe.
Will Farrow, media manager, PHD, commented: "We’ve really enjoyed working with our founding client, The Guardian, to deliver this campaign in both Berlin and Dublin. It allowed us to challenge ourselves and think differently, especially during these uncertain times. By working closely with our friends in PHD Germany and with Kinetic Ireland, we were able to identify key strategic insights within those markets which helped define our overall approach.
The new ‘Find clarity’ campaign in Berlin follows on from a Guardian Weekly experiential stunt in the city
earlier this year, while the movement into Dublin aims to appeal to new Guardian Weekly readers in a country where awareness of the Guardian is already high.
Jojo Cox, client service director, Kinetic Ireland, concluded: “We were delighted that Dublin was chosen as one of the selected cities for this new campaign. Working closely with PHD and the team at the Guardian from the very beginning gave us ample time to explore different approaches to the campaign. We know consumer behaviour has changed as a result of Covid-19. Using our local knowledge, we chose formats that would tap into these new behaviours and create valuable touchpoints with existing and potential readers."