'Not For Sale' illustrates The Guardian's independence in new work from Lucky Generals

'Not For Sale' illustrates The Guardian's independence in new work from Lucky Generals

Open to all, but beholden to no one.

The Guardian has launched a new global marketing campaign – ‘Not for sale’ – emphasising the Guardian's unique ownership model and strong tradition of robust, editorial independence. The work focuses on the strengths of the Guardian’s reader-funded model that helps to keep Guardian journalism open to all and positions this as a key reason for people to trust and financially support the Guardian.

Collaborating with creative agency Lucky Generals, this is the Guardian's first brand campaign since 2019’s ‘Hope is Power’ and embraces a new strategic and creative approach. Fresh bold designs and confident statements of independence are based on insight that the Guardian’s reader-funded model allows it to be open to all, but beholden to no one. This gives it the power to break stories no one else can, but also drives a huge range of emotive reactions that are celebrated in the work.

The campaign coincides with the launch of the Guardian’s Europe edition that provides readers on the continent with a tailored English-language edition of the Guardian website and app for the first time.

A brand new film directed by New York-based duo Rubberband and created by Lucky Generals, will showcase how the Guardian delights and challenges readers around the world. An ambitious undertaking, the film charts this multitude of reactions and features a voice-over from writer and artist Inua Ellams.

The film quickly cuts between shots of how the Guardian is consumed by people as the voiceover uses single,  powerful words to describe the emotions it stirs and the way its content is used.

The campaign also features a range of posters that will run alongside each other digitally and out of home, proudly proclaiming the Guardian to be “Loved”, “Hated”, “Trusted", “Feared”, “But never controlled”.

The campaign creative will be seen worldwide across the Guardian’s own channels to showcase its strengths in telling powerful stories while emphasising the importance of reader support. The creative will span audio, video, newsletters, print and social, with a paid media focus in the UK and Europe. Digital screens and posters will also feature across major European cities in the Guardian’s biggest-ever European marketing push, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Dublin and Paris, as well as London, Manchester, Bristol, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

The film will feature on Channel 4 (on demand and linear), in cinemas in the UK from 25 September, and on a range of digital and social platforms across Europe, showcasing how the Guardian delights and challenges readers around the world.

Cressida Holmes-Smith, managing director at Lucky Generals, said: “With ‘Not for sale’ we focused on what makes the Guardian unique in the news landscape - the fact that because it is reader funded (rather than owned by controlling interests like billionaires or politicians) its journalism can never be influenced or controlled. We knew the creative idea had to be as impactful as the paper itself and really drive home the vast range of emotions and reactions its unique publishing model gives it, but in a way that no one would be expecting. From the TV to the OOH we wanted to show just how ingrained the paper is in society but also how playful it can be.”

The campaign is a collaboration between the Guardian’s marketing team with Lucky Generals leading on creative strategy and execution, supported by the Guardian’s in-house studio team from OLIVER with PHD leading media planning and buying.


Creative agency: Lucky Generals
Media agency: PHD
Editor: Armen Harootun
Post-production: No.8
Grade: No.8
Colourist: Alex Gregory
Sound: No. 8
Sound engineer: James Benn & George Castle
Music Company: Interlude Sounds
Composer: James William Blades
Agency: Smuggler
Producer: Andrew Rawson
Director: rubberband
Dop: Patrick Golan

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