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"If the story of the Three Little Pigs broke today, how would a modern newspaper cover it? That's the concept behind a new TV ad for The Guardian, the newspaper's first major TV spot for 25 years.
The spot launches a campaign to promote the paper's 'open journalism' approach – its name for the way in which it is attempting to involve its readership in not just commenting on stories, but contributing to and even determining its news agenda. 'Open is our operating system, a way of doing things that is based on a belief in the open exchange of information, ideas and opinions and its power to bring about change,' said Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian and MediaGuardian publisher Guardian News & Media. 'The campaign is designed to bring that philosophy to life for new and existing readers.'
The launch ad examines the way in which the tale of the Three Little Pigs might be covered by The Guardian today, with all the different forms of content and different channels that implies. It also seeks to get over the way in which stories develop over time as new facts come to light and the effect of social media on switching the focus of coverage and debate.
An epic two-minute version (shown above) debuted on Channel 4 last night.
Comparisons will inevitably be made with 1986's classic Points of View by BMP (indeed the Guardian itself has said that the new ad is a 'nod' to the old one. They share an endline: The Whole Picture).
But while Points of View got over its message succintly and elegantly, Three Little Pigs is less focussed, less pithy. This can be seen as a reflection of the changing nature of media – newspapers are now less about relating THE story and more about acting as a platform for multiple strands around a topic to be explored by multiple participants, including the readers themselves, in real time. But it makes for a less memorable piece of advertising storytelling.
'The aim is to reach progressive audiences and show them why they should spend time with us,' according to Andrew Miller, chief executive of the Guardian's parent company Guardian Media Group. But you have to wonder whether such progressive types would not be aware of what the Guardian is doing anyway? The ad will probably make existing Guardian readers feel better about themselves, but will its slightly daunting complexity attract many new ones?"
(Patrick Burgoyne, 1 March 2012, Creative Review)
"Yep, the royal family has banned the ABC's satirical coverage of the royal wedding, only days before it goes to air, despite initially placing no restrictions on the coverage. While the wedding screens on ABC1 on Friday night, The Chaser team was planning to broadcast its own light-hearted look at the spectacle on ABC2.
Over the Easter weekend, restrictions were put in place - banning use of the wedding footage 'in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content'. While The Chaser coverage has been banned, channels Nine and Ten are still planning to use commentators such as Dame Edna Everage as part of their coverage. Clarence House, the private office of the Prince of Wales, has gone as far as to warn other media outlets not to supply a feed to The Chaser team. Hopefully they'll still manage to use new social media tools to get the word out on Friday night."
(Adam Turner, 27 April 27 2011, digihub.watoday.com.au)