CAMPAIGNS: The Guardian gets hip at Glastonbury - Public Awareness

Client: The Guardian
PR Team: In-house
Campaign: Glastonbury Festival
Timescale: June 1999
Budget: Undisclosed

Client: The Guardian

PR Team: In-house

Campaign: Glastonbury Festival

Timescale: June 1999

Budget: Undisclosed

The Guardian newspaper launched its entertainment and listings magazine,

the Guide, in 1993. Often imitated, it contains reviews, event coverage

and listings in a handy A5 format.

With its appeal to younger readers, Glastonbury - the UK’s biggest and

best established music festival - was an ideal sponsorship opportunity

for the Guardian.


To create awareness of the Guardian’s Guide as a leading source of

entertainment news and listings. To build and reinforce the brand as

young, accessible and innovative.

Strategy and Plan

The long-running success of the festival owes much to the fact that it

always has a strong line-up of big name bands and DJs, along with an

inherent ’people’s party’ quality - other festivals are more commercial,

while Glastonbury’s profits go to charity, for example. Sponsoring it

has to be creative because, although the organisers believe in

sponsorship and support, outright branding is banned.

Because the festival is spread out across a large area and artists

perform at eight different stages, while films are shown in two other

locations, a handy, comprehensive guide to what’s on is essential.

A Guardian team developed a mini-Guide, which copied the format of the

Guide but was compact enough to be accessible at all times.

The guide mapped the whole area, gave practical information, and full

listings of each day. Protected from bad weather by a plastic holder,

the guide was designed to be worn around the neck at all times.

To ensure as many people used it as possible, a deal was struck to make

the guides available at beer tents. Large signs promoted its

availability and workers were given free T-shirts to promote it. Copies

were also distributed at the gates to the festival site.

Around 130,000 copies of this year’s edition were printed and all were

distributed, meaning nearly every carrier was a walking brand device for

the newspaper. A high-level of media coverage meant festival-goers were

picked up by press cameras and TV crews.

As part of the sponsorship deal, the Guardian had a newspaper stand at

the event throughout the weekend.

As part of the campaign, ticket holders were given the chance to enter a

competition to go to Glastonbury as a rock star for the day, having

upgraded travel in a first-class train, being driven to the site in a

limo and staying in a VIP luxury tent. This provided a good story for

the press.

Measurement and Evaluation

No formal measurement or evaluation has yet been undertaken, but in

terms of media coverage where the Guardian was visible, reports appeared

on BBC2, BBC News 24, HTV and Sky News. Guardian journalists were

interviewed by the local radio stations. Pictures of people wearing the

guide appeared in this week’s NME and Melody Maker.

Over 5,000 sales a day of the Guardian at the festival were



Despite the branding restriction, the Guardian was very visible to

festival-goers and to TV audiences at home.

The festival has already had many requests from other media to produce a

similar guide for next year’s event because the Guardian’s version

proved so popular.

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