The deal was brokered by Starcom media agency. The festive campaign, that encourages the nation to support their local high street and shop locally this Christmas, was created by Saatchi & Saatchi London.
Launching yesterday (21 November), the campaign joins up with A Million Ads, a company specialising in dynamic creative and personalisation in digital media, to create localised adverts within Guardian podcasts, including flagship daily news edition Today in Focus. The ad slots will serve listeners with a relevant advert for a merchant local to them, so people listening to a Guardian podcast will hear bespoke placements from their area.
Visa will also take over all advertising space across the Guardian newspaper, theguardian.com and mobile, and pass the slots to independent retailers and businesses from across the UK, including Hull, Newport, Glasgow and Great Yarmouth with the regionally-targeted adverts served to both print and online readers.
Three mini documentaries will explore the diversity of the UK’s high streets and how thriving retailers are bringing people together to serve local communities, with cut-down versions featuring in pre-roll video slots and on the Guardian’s social platforms. Guardian Labs will also publish ten immersive online articles, celebrating the UK’s local high streets.
On Saturday (23 November), regionally-targeted cover wraps of Guardian Weekend will feature local shopkeepers from either London, Glasgow, Ilkley or Bristol, with readers seeing one of the four retailers depending on where they are in the UK. The cover wrap will include a first-person profile, allowing readers to learn more about their story and local business.
All coverage will be labelled in line with the Guardian’s content funding guidelines.
Adam Foley, Director of Sales and Strategy, Guardian Labs, says: "We're delighted to be working on this partnership with Visa to support the UK's high streets. With Visa and their local high street partners getting 100% share of voice across all Guardian ad slots as well as using our most innovative content formats, such as localised audio ads and short video documentaries, we have been able to create the platform that this cause deserves at such an important time of year for retail."
Suzy Brown, Marketing Director, UK & Ireland, Visa, says: “To support independent retailers and their high streets, we are investing across more channels than ever. Our innovative partnership with Guardian Labs is enabling us to build on the success of last year’s campaign to give even more small businesses a voice as we look to inspire everyone to shop locally this Christmas. Together we can all play a part in setting up our high streets and communities for success in 2020 and beyond.”
Ben Dalton, Business Director, Starcom, says: “This campaign is about giving a platform to high street merchants, for a second year running we’re making independent retailers the stars of our nationwide Christmas campaign to remind the British public how a little local support can make a big difference. Our media strategy therefore needs to deliver national stature as well as genuine local engagement, bringing to life the personality of the high street. The Guardian are a long term strategic partner whose proven track record in driving social change paired with market leading innovation makes for a truly exciting solution that shows genuine commitment to the high street.’’
The Guardian content is part of Visa’s wider Christmas campaign, ‘Where You Shop Matters’, which is encouraging shoppers to switch their focus from what they buy to where they buy and inviting people to support their local high street this Christmas and beyond.