Print is a footnote as Guardian puts digital first in ‘Three little pigs’

Guardian Three little pigs ad: no print on themLots of kind words being said about the BBH created ad for The Guardian. It is a modern day take on the fair tale of The Three little pigs as armed police take the pigs into custody after they wreaked their revenge on the big bad wolf.

The ad gives a perfect state of nation snapshot of how newspapers and news have changed and the affect digital and social media has had upon them as the story of the death of the wolf at the hands of the pigs plays out.

What is interesting, but not surprising, is that the ad clearly puts digital first. Print here barely gets a lookin. It is not a copy of the paper that fewer and fewer of us read we see first, but a laptop opened on the Guardian website playing a piece of video reporting the breaking news of a police raid on the home of the final pig. This gives ways to consumers immediately reacting online to the story as they blog and tweet and hashtags are created. It only confirms that the mindset of the Guardian is more of a digital news business than of a newspaper in 2012.

The ad (below) shows us us a stream of digital reader responses as people react and debate the story of the three little pigs. We see tablets, YouTube screens and websites long before we see a torn page of the Guardian pinned to the wall like some page from history. The only shot of an actual paper is the one we see in the final frame — fitting.

Last month it the 20p i overtook The Guardian. The i’s circulation hit a new high of 243,321 compared to the Guardian’s 229,753.

The ad is another expression of the strategy Guardian News & Media announced in June 2011 called “digital-first”, which came after editor Alan Rusbridger admitted to having no “credible” five year business: “Half our readers now read the paper in the evening. They get their breaking news from our website or on mobile.”

Interestingly, the strapline for the ad, ‘The whole picture’, was first used in the ‘points of view’ Guardian campaign in 1986. It is below and worth a look.

  • Jason Hunt

    Personally I find this an over-rated heavy-handed ‘trying to be cool’ version of the original idea. Just a bit clichéd. Sorry.

    I am just a grumpy old man though, albeit one who tweets and wants an iPad 3!

  • Kathleen Carter

    I really enjoyed it, seems to have stand-out to succeed, love the epic feel. But wonder how much impact a shorter spot could have? And with the Natwest ‘piggies’ on re-run right now it feels like there are pigs everywhere!

  • Pat Pending

    one of the worst ads ever. So pretentious, trying to be clever clever, definitely not entertaining, tedious particularly on repeat viewing.


  • @gordonmacmillan

    That ads seems to split people down the middle. Either loved or hated. No middle ground. Like the paper itself, maybe.

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