Is BBH’s new ad for the Guardian the best ad produced in the UK since 1986?

Well that’s the implication of the torrent of praise that has poured down on the Guardian newspaper and agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty for the new ‘Three Little Pigs’ ad trumpeting its ‘open journalism.’ Still not quite sure what this is, but never mind.

Back in 1986 Boase Massimi Pollitt (now DDB London but then independent and arguably the best agency in the world) produced this brilliant film with director Paul Weiland for the Guardian called ‘Points of View.’

It summed up what the Guardian was about – an often contrarian left-leaning view of the world – brilliantly. And many people say that it’s one of the best ads ever made, certainly in the UK. Former Lowe International boss Jerry Judge, who made his name at BBH in the 1980s, chose it recently here as one of his ‘Desert Island Ads‘ as did Mediacom’s Nick Lawson, who must have been a mere slip of a lad at the time.

Interestingly, Judge observed that BMP’s “Points of View’ helped to make BBH (even) better. Does this imply that BBH founder and creative director John Hegarty was to be observed gnashing his teeth and vowing to outdo BMP? Now, all of 25 years later, maybe he has.

Because ‘Three Little Pigs’ may be the foundation of the Guardian’s open journalism crusade (and another attempt to recruit more readers to a paper that everyone says is good even though they’re not buying it in large numbers) but it’s really a sequel to ‘Points of View.’ The subject matter, a plea for fairness and considered judgement, is exactly the same (and no worse for that).

The creative director was David Kolbusz, creatives were Matt Fitch and Mark Lewis.

Is it as good an ad as BMP’s? We shouldn’t forget director Weiland here either, a former copywriter at the legendary CDP he had a unique ability to make 30-second dramas (and greatly improve the scripts he was handed on occasion). Time will be the judge of course (do we have 25 years?) but 30-second king Weiland didn’t have the two minutes that ‘Three Little Pigs’ director Ringan Ledwidge enjoyed in the YouTube era. He didn’t need it though.

What we can say is that we probably won’t see a better ad from the UK this year.

You May Also Like

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.