Google resurrects The Funday Times for inspired summer campaign

google funday times

Global internet giant Google has worked with The Sunday Times to resurrect The Funday Times as part of its summer 2021 ad campaign. 

The search engine firm’s new creative is called ‘It starts with Summer’ and is developed by London agency Uncommon.

The campaign will feature across TV, OOH, Digital and Social, maximising relevant moments that deliver contextual messages to help the British public get the most out of the post-lockdown summer with a little help from Google. 

Google and The Funday Times

In a blast from the past, Google has partnered with The Sunday Times to bring back the iconic supplement, The Funday Times. 

Four, eight-page supplements will appear with the paper throughout June, encouraging and helping families to get back out into the world this summer. 

Packed with Google Search innovations that readers can interact with using a mobile and/or tablet device, each edition of The Funday Times will have a particular theme – from animals and nature to landmarks and city culture – and will use technology such as Google Lens to bring readers fun activities and connect them with ways that they can explore the content further. 

The campaign will be supported with paid social and live reads on Virgin Radio and will be promoted on Tesco Retail store units.

OMD UK, alongside Essence Google’s digital agency, has handled the media planning and buying, and secured both partnerships.

Google partnerships

Google has also formed partnerships with Channel 4 and News UK across two activations that will promote Google Search and features across June and July.

The campaign launched with a unique TV spot – a special 10 second intro from Channel 4 tee’d up a 120” ad during the Bake Off: The Professionals on Tuesday 1 June. 

Through the rest of June the company plans to deliver a high quality TV presence during the best collective viewing moments, including hand picked 60” spots in the long anticipated European Championship and returning Love Island.

To further maximise the receptivity and impact of the message, Google and Channel 4 will embark on a cross platform partnership across C4, All 4 and the broadcasters social channels, using appropriate TV moments to bring the campaign to life. 

Borrowing moments from a range of programming – from Hollyoaks, Devon & Cornwall, Formula 1 and more – the spots will feature throughout the schedule showcasing contextual Google searches based on each specific show. 

For example, “How to make a good first impression?” during First Dates.

Working with Talon and OMG DOOH, the OOH campaign will deliver a national message with a local feel, serving dynamic content based on a multitude of triggers such as time, weather and location. 

Google said it will be unmissable through its presence on some of the most iconic sites in the UK, asking the nation ‘What are you searching for this summer?’

Nishma Robb, Director of Brand & Reputation Marketing at Google, said: “We’re incredibly proud of this campaign and our continued partnership with OMD to bring this to life. 

‘It starts with summer’

“At Google, we want to encourage everyone to discover more this summer and love seeing the many ways Search can help start those new adventures come to life in our ‘It Starts with Summer‘ campaign, through multiple channels’ .

Laura Fenton, CEO OMD UK, said: “Google’s Search innovation is second-to-none, and as the UK begins to return to normality this Summer this technology will empower discovery and learning as we get back out into the world. 

Partnering with Channel 4 will deliver Search context during some of the UK’s most-watched programming, whilst the return of The Funday Times will bring nostalgia and curiosity to Brits young and old – I can’t wait to read it myself!”

Chris Braithwaite, Agency & Client Sales Leader, Channel 4 said: “Channel 4’s collaboration with Google and OMD UK marries Google Search with some of our most popular and much-loved shows and moments, resulting in a relevant and entertaining campaign that viewers will enjoy – wherever they’re watching.”

David Dumville, Head of Solutions at News UK said: “We are excited to see the return of the Funday Times and look forward to seeing the various parts of our business come together to drive this encompassing campaign forward. 

“Google’s innovative features transform the supplement into an exhilarating futuristic learning and play tool which is fun for all the family. 

“And with restrictions easing we hope this campaign will inspire families to get out and about.”