Lucky Generals goes big on independence for Guardian’s European launch

The Guardian’s first big advertising push in four years is surprisingly light on encouraging the reader donations that help keep it in business. Lucky Generals’ work instead centres on the idea that the Guardian is free of controlling interests from billionaires or politicians. It’s “open to all but beholden to no one.”

The timing coincides with the launch of a Guardian Europe website and app, and the mood is defiant (with a touch of humour), pushing the idea that the paper’s independence allows it to break stories no one else can. The Guardian claims a million paying supporters each month.

Spearheading the campaign is a film that shows people around the world reacting to and sharing stories from the Guardian online, emphasising the lack of paywall in the process. Print and outdoor work is based around bright colours and single words that again emphasise independence.

Joel Midgley, head of marketing, Guardian News & Media, said: “The Guardian isn’t like other media brands and our campaigns shouldn’t be either. Everything we’ve produced is grounded in insights about what readers love most about us – a strong foundation that has enabled us to be playful, unexpected and bold in the execution.”

Cressida Holmes-Smith, managing director at Lucky Generals, said: “With ‘Not for sale’ we knew the creative idea had to be as impactful as the paper itself and really drive home the vast range of emotions and reactions its unique publishing model gives it – but in a way that no one would be expecting. From the TV to the OOH we wanted to show just how ingrained the paper is in society but also how playful it can be.”

The film will show on Channel 4 and in cinemas as well as on digital and social.

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