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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

January 10, 2013 | 2 min read

The Guardian has unveiled a striking new ad to promote a new Guardian and Observer weekend supplements and magazines, including a new Saturday cookery section.

The ad features actor Hugh Grant, who was not paid for his role, and has been created by BBH, who were also responsible for making the ‘three little pigs’ ad for the newspaper last year.

It has already attracted attention in the US. Adweek made it their Ad of the Day and AdAge said the appearance was "possibly Grant's way of supporting any news organization that isn't News Corp., considering his involvement in exposing that company's phone-hacking scandal in 2011."

Asked about Grant's waived fee, a Guardian News and Media spokesperson told AdAge, "That's a question for Hugh Grant, but he was happy to do this without payment as a fan of our newspapers."

David Kolbusz, deputy executive creative director at BBH, said: "The Guardian is not a particularly shouty brand, and yet we had to find a way to send a message – loud and clear – about the superiority of their weekend offering. Satire proved to be the best avenue for undertaking this Herculean effort. Hopefully we've managed to create a piece of communication that is as informative as it is entertaining."

The three-minute version of the film seen here, which has been shot by Biscuit Filmworks, will run online, with 60-second and 30-second versions developed for cinema. The Guardian has described the ad as having been ‘shot like a movie trailer for a spoof Jerry Bruckheimer film’.

The full-length film will run on Channel 4's online TV service 4oD from today, and TV advertising is not yet planned.

Set to run with the strapline Own the Weekend, the campaign is also set to include press, posters and escalator panels on the London Underground, as well as national sampling and social media activity.

The Guardian has become one of the first advertisers to make use of DCM’s new flexibility in scheduling since it went digital, while media planning was handled by PHD Networks.

Hugh Grant The Guardian

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Bartle Bogle Hegarty is a Global advertising agency. Founded in 1982 by British ad men John Bartle, Nigel Bogle, and John Hegarty, BBH has offices in London, New...

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