The Guardian: 200 years, a work in progress

The Guardian wanted its in-house team to help launch a new brand campaign, one that highlighted the media brand’s rich progressive history.  

The Guardian’s 200th birthday was approaching, and the media brand wanted to use this milestone to celebrate their heritage while also looking to the future. The Guardian also wanted to deepen its relationship with existing readers, bring in a new cohort and grow reader revenue. 

The challenge

Since the beginning, the Guardian’s mission has been to make the world a better place through integrity and value-driven journalism. This double-meaning was reflected in the campaign name: The Guardian: 200 years, a work in progress.

OLIVER knew also that The Guardian have always had a special, purpose-driven relationship with their readers – this milestone would have significance for them too. So, many of the executions were crafted with a knowing nod to the Guardian’s audience, who passionately share the same outlook on the world.

The solution

As the Guardian is a news media brand, it wanted to make copy the beating heart of the campaign and power the omnichannel approach used for its messaging.   

The press, display, social channels, podcasts, film, emails and DM all had dedicated copy-led executions, crafted to be as bold and provocative as possible. 

For the art direction, the in-house team delved into archives to rediscover some of The Guardian’s history. This rich vein of lore was used as reference for typography and design, which has defined the look of the media brand since its founding. 

The results

The Guardian: 200 years, a work in progress has become one of the brand’s best performing campaigns to date. The creative studio behind it was able to drive millions of impressions across all channels. 

This resulted in: 

  • 41.6 million page views per day. 
  • An increase of 16% in brand awareness among non-readers. 
  • Almost 60 thousand donations across single and recurring donations. 
  • One of The Guardian’s best-performing campaigns to date. 
  • Sam Jacobs and Rae Stones named Creative Duo of the Year (Campaign). 
  • The Guardian named Campaign’s In-House Agency of the Year. 
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