There are riots, twitter hashtags, visualisations, infographics and intrigue of injustice. There are people from around the world coming together, sharing and debating over one hot topic. Sound familiar? Yep, you guessed it – it’s the affair of the three little pigs.
If you haven’t seen the Guardian’s new ad, you should.
It’s dark, bold and modern. It’s sleek and sinister. It’s very Charlie Brooker (and that’s not just because of the pigs). Even though we’re already readers, it makes us want to get more involved. We want to read the news that way, be a part of the movement created from different points of view, know that the source of our information is genuine, unbiased, a platform that’s at the cutting edge, that brings thinkers together and relentlessly reveals the curious truth behind stories that seem simple at first.
Without a doubt we’re big fans – it’s a brave move – but has The Guardian gone too far? This is a big risk, challenging the role of journalism and journalists, and challenging what a newspaper should be. It throws down an almighty gauntlet to everyone else. But, as a risk, it’s the best we’ve seen in a long time.
The Guardian has unapologetically staked its territory as the bastion of ‘open journalism’, eloquently summed up in Rusbridger’s accompanying copy. It’s not necessarily something that only the Guardian can claim to do – surely Twitter, or even the internet itself, could be described as a form of ‘open journalism’ – but in the newspaper world it’s a space that the Guardian can own. It’s the first time a publication has created such a just commentary of what modern journalism is – and it gives them a stance, a voice, a manifesto that feels fresh compared to all the others.
It’s also clearly speaking to a certain kind of person, which in our opinion is the best kind of advertising. Picking up so many current cultural cues – the riots, recessionary times, the murmur of social media and power of the people – the ad talks to someone who cares about what’s going in the world, who’s active – politically or otherwise – who takes part in global conversations with a curiosity for knowledge and truth. If you’re not that type of person, you’ll probably hate it. But there are plenty of those kind of people who just don’t have a relationship with the old style media brands, and might now get engaged.
So, take it or leave it, we love it. What do you think?