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The Guardian ads invite readers to 'Find Clarity' amongst the chaos

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By Imogen Watson | Senior reporter

October 12, 2020 | 5 min read

You may not be anywhere near the office water cooler right now, but we still want to spotlight the most talked about creative from the brands that should be on your radar. Today, we look at The Guardian's striking OOH campaign as it looks to attract more subscribers.

The Guardian's 'Find Clarity' billboard appearing in Berlin

The Guardian's 'Find Clarity' billboard appearing in Berlin

Since lockdown and coronavirus restrictions were imposed around the world, demand for Guardian Weekly, The Guardian's international news mag, has seen a 15% growth in its overall subscription base, hinting that while print may not be dead, people want news in another form to a daily newspaper.

As the spike was particularly seen in Germany (+23%) and Ireland (+77%), today (12 October) The Guardian appeared in both Dublin and Berlin to drive even more subscriptions to its weekly mag.

Centred on the tagline 'find clarity' the out-of-home (OOH) campaign presents the Guardian Weekly as a way for readers to digest global news differently, selling itself as ‘a pause for thought’ moment in an increasingly chaotic and confusing world.

Berlin flyposter

Powered by in-house creative agency Oliver, and in partnership with Omnicom Media Group’s PHD, and Kinetic, the campaign was illustrated by surrealist artist Rafael Alejandro who was tasked with depicting three global news events - coronavirus, Trump and the environment.

Each design runs with an accompanying statement that ‘the world is…’ ‘confusing’ (coronavirus), ‘absurd’ (Trump), and ‘in crisis’ (the environment).

The cover of this week's Guardian Weekly appears next to the illustrations, inviting people to ‘find clarity’, with the clustered imagery juxtaposed against the calm, clear Guardian Weekly magazine.

Dublin poster guardian

A special 3D build of the creative features in Dublin was designed to create the illusion of a Guardian Weekly cover popping out of the poster, while additional activity is planned on digital and social media, including ads on YouTube and Twitter.

“From politics to the climate crisis, we know that European readers turn to the Guardian for a global perspective. Our Guardian Weekly magazine offers a weekly digest of news from across the world, allowing people to step back from the day-to-day, reflect and find clarity,“ explains Kate Davies, director of brand and awareness, Guardian News and Media.

“Working with Oliver to illustrate these uncertain times, we have designed a visually striking creative to promote Guardian Weekly and highlight the Guardian’s strength in offering global readers clear and trusted journalism on the issues that matter.“

Glass stunt

Bursting to publically shout about the value of good journalism, the epic OOH takeover is a favourite tactic of The Guardian's. Earlier this year, it coated Berlin in 2,000 flyposters as part of an experiential stunt that begged passers-by to break the emergency glass they were housed in, and take a complimentary copy of Guardian Weekly. It was a novel approach from the newspaper that it hoped would drive more international readers to the magazine.

Hope is power

Last year, in a bid to reach two million supporters by 2022, the Guardian flyposted its ‘Hope is Power’ campaign across the UK to highlight the crucial role that the newspaper plays in giving people information that enables them to challenge the status quo.

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