The Guardian's 200-year anniversary campaign says it's a 'work in progress'

Push from Oliver Agency includes billboards that appear to be incomplete

Published On
May 04, 2021

Editor's Pick

The Guardian is celebrating its 200th anniversary in a new outdoor and digital campaign promoting the publication as a "work in progress since 1821."

The campaign, by Oliver Agency, includes an extensive billboard push. Spanning 230 U.K. locations, the ads feature the Guardian’s recognizable typography and celebrate its independent ownership and challenger voice. Some of the outdoors illustrate the "work in progress" theme in the form of unfinished billboards, while others feature copy such as "Reader funded not billionaire backed" and "The cat among the pigeons."

Three films, created via Independent Films, explore the idea of progress as it relates to key news topics such as the environment and privacy. They feature voiceovers of the late author Ursula K. Le Guin; former Observer journalist, Alan Ross and poet and author Salena Godden, set against footage reflecting some of the dominant stories of both the 20th century and today. The images highlight contemporary stories that the Guardian has broken or campaigned about, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the rise of Greta Thunberg. 

The campaign will run across the Guardian’s digital platforms and apps, including an animated masthead on the homepage. Additional paid activity is planned across the Guardian’s social media channels, including ads on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

'A work in progress' poster

'For facts sake' poster



May 04, 2021
Client :
The Guardian
Agency :
Rodrigo Sobral
Rob Kavanagh
Creative Director :
Sam Jacobs
Creative Director :
Rae Stones
Design Director :
Liam Smith
Designer :
Katie Howe
Designer :
Christopher Evangalista
Planner :
Rachel Hatton
Planner :
Dan Perry
Client Services Director :
Suzanne Partridge
Account Lead :
Izabela Pawlowska
Project Manager :
Ida Ghotaslo
Alex Breuer
Digtial Design Director :
Ben Longden
Marketing Director :
Kate Davies
Senior Marketing Manager :
Joel Midgley
Production Company :
Independent Films
Director :
Tony Barry
Producer :
Sara Cummins
Visual Researcher :
Ellie Gibson
Editor :
Greg Hayes
Editor :
The Whitehouse Post
Sound Design :
Parv Thind Wave Sound
Colorist :
Seamus O’Kane
Colorist :
Youngster Post Production
Music :
Jon Hopkins
Courtesy of :
Domino Publishing
Speeches/Voice Over :
Ursula K Le Guin
Speeches/Voice Over :
National Book Awards USA
Speeches/Voice Over :
Alan Watts
Courtesy of :
Alan Watts Org
Speeches/Voice Over :
Salena Godden
Courtesy of :
Rough Trade Books

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