creative impulse

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The Independent Online
GGT has unveiled a vibrant new cinema campaign for its long-standing client 'The Big Issue', now celebrating its fifth year of publication. For all 'Big Issue' campaigns, all companies and personalities involved, including the agency, lend their time and skills for free. Two films will be seen initially, and a third is in the works; showings will become more widespread as more media space is secured.

The Client: The Big Issue

Dermot McPartland, advertising and marketing director

We are encouraging people to buy 'The Big Issue' because it's a good magazine in its own right, and not just as a means of helping homeless people. Of course, we want people to be aware that the transaction they make in buying the magazine helps homeless people, but they are not to think of it as a handout or pity purchase.

Cinema was about the only medium we hadn't used for advertising, and we're keen in particular to get into independent or arthouse cinemas, because that's where our audience is - the 18- to 35-year-olds. Our brief to the agency was to position the magazine as something relevant and exciting, and also an essential purchase - to say not only that the ethos behind The Big Issue is positive, but also that buying it is a positive act. We wanted to get away from the negativity associated with homelessness, and wanted something energetic, that would give the brand an edge.

The agency: GGT

Jay Pond-Jones, joint creative director

We wanted to present The Big Issue as a magazine for people who are passionate about the city, and so looked for ways of dramatising how essential a part of city life it is. In the first film there's a taxi driver who has lost his love for the city, but whose outlook is refreshed by The Big Issue. In the second you have a woman from the country who spends all her time baking cakes, but whose life is transformed when she comes to the city and discovers the magazine. There, we were taking someone who is the very antithesis of a city-dweller, and saying that The Big Issue is her passport to city life.

We feel the ads are fresh and contemporary, which will appeal to young people and will get them to buy the magazine on a regular basis. Basically, we didn't want them to look like charity ads, because although The Big Issue has charitable status, what we're doing here is selling the actual magazine.