News UK’s big budget ad promises to make sense of the Westminster zoo

As Brexit confusion reigns, The Times and The Sunday Times are making a bold claim in its glossy new ad campaign, which promises “Politics. Tamed.”

Created by in-house agency Pulse Creative (run by WPP and The & Partnership), it’s a big budget production and a big media spend – the ads will be on all the major TV channels, cinemas, buses, taxis and digital – which is unheard of for a newspaper these days. The campaign even kicked off by projecting scenes from the ad onto the House of Commons, and was reinforced over the weekend with a big cover story on Brexit in the Saturday paper.

The Times may be overclaiming on its ability to make sense of Brexit, but it did a very good job of owning its own story on Shamima Begum, the Isis bride who’s in a Syrian refugee camp, which has been an equally good advert for the newspaper’s journalism.

Pulse’s ad depicts politicians as animals in the Westminster zoo, starting with speaker John Bercow as a shaggy mutt.The voiceover is borrowed from Dr Dolittle’s “Talk to the Animals” song, and in the end a lion and a unicorn arrive to bring order to the chaos – the same animals on the royal crest of the newspaper’s masthead.

Catherine Newman, chief marketing officer of The Times and The Sunday Times, said: “Right now there is so much information from so many sources it’s hard to make sense of it all. The Politics.Tamed. campaign aims to address this. The Times has been making sense of politics since 1785, so when people don’t know where to turn, we want to remind them that The Times and The Sunday Times offer the guidance and analysis they need. We are fiercely proud of our brands and of this campaign.”

MAA creative scale: 8

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.