My favourite campaign is 'Three Little Pigs': BBH India's Sarita Raghavan

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Screen grab of the ad
Which is your favourite campaign and why?


One of the great pieces of advertising that has stayed with me is the Three Little Pigs campaign by The Guardian. It was a film campaign and they had done some print work around it as well. They have taken the fable of the wolf coming and destroying the houses of the pig brothers and made a modern satire — one which tells you how you can look at that story from different angles and how that narrative would look today. It was also done at a time when the very concept of news was evolving, public opinion had started to matter and different sources were emerging.


The campaign emphasised that the story can’t be a closed one, cannot rely on a one-way narrative and the society has a point of view on news. It brings alive the concept really well and is extremely entertaining. There is great storytelling and has a movie-like quality which makes you wonder who would have been behind the ad.       


On what parameters did you base your decision?


It certainly works towards building affinity for the brand. It helps the brand scale by showcasing its core principles. Telling the readers that The Guardian is an open and collaborative brand, all that a newspaper needs to be. Second, they have been able to demonstrate clearly what is it that the brand does, its way of working. It’s a beautifully crafted ad because sometimes, not enough effort is put on how an ad looks. Not in this one.


What do you think was the key idea the campaign was trying to drive home?


The idea they were driving home was how does a really old newspaper rediscover itself in the day and age of technology. One mustn’t forget that 2012 (the year that it came out) was a year when there was a rapid change in technology, citizenship journalism was emerging. And till that time, newspapers were still giving news but with the use of social media picking up, news-gathering and consumption techniques were changing. Public opinion became an integral part of the news business and the paper showed through this campaign that it had realised that change was inevitable. It sent a clear message that it was ready for that change.


Do you remember this campaign winning any award(s)? Do advertising awards serve any purpose?


It won the Golden Lion at Cannes and some other awards. Awards do compel people to tell stories in interesting ways. Especially, in an era where there is so much content, compelling people to create stuff which are different is actually a good thing. It’s good for the agency and the clients and it is also good for the consumers to watch these ads. So, it’s always better to get a story well told than just told. That brings a different culture into regular advertising, pushes people for better memorability. Awards thus become a marker to observe these changes.


Do you feel the message in the ad was drowned by the art?


There are stories that make you love the brand but what the brand does is not clear. The Guardian ad manages to find a great balance. It talks about how The Guardian approaches news. The tagline for the campaign was “The whole picture” conveying that the newspaper will bring out the complete picture.


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