The Guardian 200 Years, a Work in Progress

OLIVER, London / THE GUARDIAN / 2021

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In 2021, the Guardian turned 200.

The brief was to celebrate the milestone with existing readers whilst gaining new subscribers and supporters.

Our objectives:

- Increase awareness among future generations (18-25)

- 1m impressions on our G200 birthday content

- Increased acts of financial support, above business as usual, across subscriptions, contributions, events


The Guardian. For 200 years, a work in progress. A campaign with copywriting as bold as the newspaper itself, and art direction drawing upon 200 years of cherished typography. It comprised multi-city OOH, with special builds in meaningful and poignant locations – alongside press, display, social, film and limited-edition editorial collaborations.


Most brands, when turning 200, would choose to celebrate past achievements. But the Guardian chose to focus on what comes next.

Since the very beginning, their mission was to make the world a better, fairer place for everyone. This was the truth we needed to bring to life.


The campaign ran across press, display, social, podcasts, film, emails to existing subscribers, and DM.

The centrepiece was a multi-city OOH campaign across almost 200 sites, including special builds that were still in progress, and poignant locations with deeper meaning like the mega-banner in Manchester, moments from the Guardian’s birthplace.

As a news brand, we felt copy should be at the beating heart of our campaign and our provocative headlines were carefully aligned to the enduring values and product-points that only the Guardian news brand could lay claim to.

The art direction wove together famed typography that spanned the 200 years in print, another acknowledgement of the relationship the brand has with its audience.

We even collaborated with Editorial with a new logo in the masthead, a reprint of the first edition of the Guardian, a limited-edition 200-year newspaper, and a digital special edition.


The campaign resonated with the industry, and more importantly our readers.

We received over 5,000 birthday messages from all over the world (NZ, Portugal, US, UK etc.) from well-wishers like Stephen Fry, Richard E Grant, Hilary Clinton, and Tedros Adhanom Director General of WHO.

We achieved 41.6 million page views per day across the site, and 6 million on G200 birthday pages.

It was also one of The Guardian’s best performing campaigns to date. Delivering substantial financial support with 59.8k acts of support across single and recurring revenue.

We also saw an astonishing 16% increase in awareness with non-readers, giving us a powerful starting point for our next 200 years…

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