Hugh Grant to star in Guardian ad

January 11, 2013 1:46 pmComments OffViews:

Hugh GrantPowered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled "Hugh Grant to star in Guardian ad" was written by Mark Sweney, for guardian.co.uk on Thursday 10th January 2013 16.55 UTC

Hugh Grant is to star in a tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign promoting Guardian and Observer weekend supplements and magazines, including a new Saturday cookery section.

Grant, who was not paid for his appearance, will appear in a commercial shot like a movie trailer for a spoof Jerry Bruckheimer film, the US producer behind hits such as Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Con Air and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Guardian and Observer publisher Guardian News & Media's campaign, which will run with the strapline Own the Weekend, will include cinema, press, posters and escalator panels on the London Underground and online advertising.

A three-minute version of the film, which has been shot by Biscuit Filmworks, will run online, with 60-second and 30-second versions developed for cinema.

TV advertising is not currently in the media plan, however it has not been ruled out, although the full-length film will run on Channel 4's online TV service 4oD from Friday.

The aim is to showcase established weekend supplements including Review, Weekend, the Guide and the Observer Magazine.

It will be used to back the launch of a new weekly section, Cook, a 16-page supplement free with the Saturday Guardian from 12 January.

The launch of the new section coincides with a price rise for the Saturday Guardian, by 20p to £2.30p from 12 January. The price of the weekday Guardian is also going up by 20p to £1.40, from Monday 14 January. The Observer will remain at £2.50.

The Cook supplement will also feature in the iPad editions of the Guardian and Observer and the Guardian's Kindle edition.

The campaign has been developed by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the ad agency behind last year's Three Little Pigs TV ad promoting the Guardian's concept of "open journalism".

"We wanted to continue last year's marketing successes by experimenting with a new, bold approach to January marketing in 2013," said David Pemsel, chief commercial officer at GNM, which also publishes MediaGuardian. "We're delighted to have Hugh Grant on board, helping us create a fun and irreverent style which taps into the spirit of our weekend papers."

The campaign will be supported by promotional activity including nationwide sampling of Saturday Guardian and Observer content, and social media activity on Twitter and Facebook.

"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," said David Kolbusz, deputy executive creative director at BBH. "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."

Media planning and buying for the ad campaign has been handled by media agency PHD.

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