Why Are Three Little Pigs Advertising a Newspaper?


littlepiggies Why Are Three Little Pigs Advertising a Newspaper?

The PR Verdict: “C” for the Guardian and its advertising launch.

The famous nursery tale of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf isn’t normally what the Guardian newspaper of the UK is traditionally associated with. But in a puzzling advertisement, the tale of the three little pigs forms the cornerstone of the Guardian’s new campaign. The wolf is murdered by three little pigs in a setting that resembles the ongoing financial crisis.

The campaign’s intent is to increase awareness that the Guardian is more than just a newspaper. Leading with its proposition of “open journalism”, the thrust is that news is now participatory, including web, print, tablet and mobile and that readers have the opportunity to shape any story.

The commercial ends with a surprising twist and while borrowing from a nursery tale is a clever idea, the concept sits oddly with the newspaper’s established track record.

The PR Verdict: “C” for the Guardian and its advertising launch. Credibility is a serious newspaper’s key brand attribute.  Is it wise to jettison it in favor of a nursery story?

This positioning seems unnecessary for a news organization with a proven track record. Given the Guardian prides itself on its landmark news stories, including Wiki leaks and most recently the Murdoch phone hacking scandal, using  three little pigs is at best confusing. With such an impressive track record, why make something up?  What is the next step in a campaign like this; the assassination of Humpty Dumpty?

To see the adverstisement click here. To read what the Guardian says about its campaign click here and for more on “open journalism” click here.

How would you grade this campaign. Tell us your view:

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What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. It is clunky at best, and feels like a first year graduate’s first attempt at an assignment. With all the events going on around the world and their excellent coverage of that, why they went down this path is beyond me.
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  2. Bad or good. We’re talking about it, so it’s working!

  3. I subscribe to 3 paeprs and will periodically go to them online. The online editions have breaking news and up-to-the-minute things while the paper paper (;-) has articles that go into more depth and give more personal accounts, analysis, etc. Some online paeprs charge for premium content (the same content you get in the home editions) but a lot of them have just about all of the information you can find in the paper editions.btw, all those ads you see on the pages of the online editions help pay for them.


  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Why Are Three Little Pigs Advertising a Newspaper?…

    The PR Verdict: “C” for the Guardian. Credibility is a newspaper’s key brand value. Unnecessary positioning for an organization with a proven track record….

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