Audible and the Guardian partner to bring George Orwell’s 1984 to a 2024 audience

<span>Guardian and Audible multi-channel George Orwell 1984 campaign</span><span>Photograph: The Guardian</span>
Guardian and Audible multi-channel George Orwell 1984 campaignPhotograph: The Guardian

The Guardian has announced a new multi-platform campaign, creating a huge cultural moment to launch the new Audible Original adaption of George Orwell’s 1984. With articles exploring everything from fake news to resisting online rage fests, bold interactive graphic treatments in display and a full ad takeover of Observer Magazine, the campaign shows why this version of 1984 is the must-listen audiobook for 2024.

The campaign uses the Guardian’s unique formula of “scale, influence and integrity” to deliver high impact content to match Audible’s all-star cast: Andrew Garfield, Cynthia Erivo, Andrew Scott, Tom Hardy and Romesh Ranganathan.

  • Scale: The biggest digital newsource in the UK, the Guardian will reach more than 9m 1984 superfans through big, bespoke formats.

  • Influence: The Guardian’s culture section averages 22m page views a month. Recent Netflix documentary Can I Tell You a Secret? based on the original Guardian podcast was the most watched show in 15 countries; Black Box, our new narrative podcast series taking a deep dive into the world of AI, has been a Top 5 hit across multiple podcast platforms.

  • Integrity: In an era of misinformation and deep fakes, the Guardian is a trusted platform committed to facts, honesty and unflinching investigative journalism. Orwell, a regular contributor to the Guardian and Observer, once stated that the Manchester Guardian had “the best reputation for truthfulness”.

Maximising the very best of the Guardian, the campaign launched with impact, with quizzes and jargon-busting articles that help audiences see what 1984 tells us about the world in 2024.

Around the content and across, a brand-new, bespoke scroller is running in unmissable Fabric XL ad slots over the Guardian’s TV, lifestyle, culture, film and book sections, introducing Orwell to an even wider audience.

In audio, ads across the Guardian’s podcast network share teaser clips of the audio book. And in video, the Guardian created a bespoke animated teaser trailer, filling editorial social channels with abstract imagery and bold graphics to bring the 1984 soundscape to life.

Last weekend, the campaign also ran a full takeover of Observer Magazine, using print as the hero format with a “turn-to-reveal” redacted coverwrap. Every single ad slot (in the Sunday 7 April issue) was filled with resonant Orwell quotes, articles and QR codes driving audiences to hear more: marking the cultural moment in Orwell’s former publication.

Albert Hogan, senior director – brand and content marketing, Europe, Audible, said:

“We were absolutely thrilled to work with the Guardian to introduce Audible’s adaptation of 1984 to the UK. From Orwell’s connections to the Observer to the resonance of the key themes of the story with the Guardian reader, it felt like the perfect environment to reaffirm the prescience of 1984 in 2024 and let people know there is no more relevant time to listen than right now.”

Imogen Fox, chief advertising officer, Guardian Media Group, said:

“The Guardian is renowned for its award-winning, multi-channel advertising campaigns, which deliver higher uplifts in brand and campaign diagnostic metrics. We relished the opportunity to refresh 1984 using the best of the Guardian’s unique channels and formats to bring this campaign to life. Many people think they know Orwell’s 1984 because they’re familiar with the novel’s ideas, but this new audiobook version 75 years on from its initial release pushed our team to develop innovative formats and visuals. Given our huge scale, we’re the perfect place for cultural launch moments.”


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Notes to editors

About Guardian News & Media
Guardian News & Media (GNM) publishes, one of the world’s leading English-language news websites. Traffic from outside of the UK now represents around two-thirds of the Guardian’s total digital audience. In the UK, GNM publishes the Guardian newspaper six days a week, first published in 1821, and the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper, The Observer.