The Guardian kicks off its relaunch campaign in earnest this week
with two enigmatic television commercials, through Partners BDDH, which
expand on the ’free thinking’ theme established by the current national
The commercials, which use the endline, ’free from a proprietor and free
to reveal the truth’, set out to surprise and stimulate the viewer. The
first, set in the middle of a cornfield reminiscent of a Van Gogh
painting, shows a man playing with his image in a funfair mirror,
accompanied by the strains of Carmen Miranda singing ’Ay ay ay ay ay I
like you veeeery much’.
In the second spot, set to the same soundtrack, a man and a chameleon
are seated opposite each other at a table. A fly lands on a plate
between them and the tension builds up while we wait to see what
happens. There are two alternative endings - one shows the man whipping
out a long tongue to slurp up the fly, while in the other, the fly
consumes the man.
Simon Green, a creative partner at Partners BDDH, said: ’We are building
a campaign about what freedom allows the paper to do. We are trying to
give an insight into the spirit of the Guardian using intelligence and
In the broadsheet market, many readers buy different titles on different
days of the week, so the Guardian is hoping to develop a more consistent
customer base and to build brand loyalty in a subtle way. ’We want to
show the brighter side of the Guardian and the positive aspects of being
a free-thinker,’ Green continued.
The ads were written and art directed by Green and his fellow creative
partner, John Dean, and directed by Joe Public through Partizan. The
campaign, planned and bought by New PHD, will run for a six-week burst
on Channel 4 and Sky and will be continued in 1999.