The Economist’s latest campaign banks on intrigue to challenge its readers. Created by O&M, the campaign which primarily uses outdoor supported by online, has text in a deceptively foreign looking script which makes a connect between seemingly unconnected global events. So while ‘Journalists stopped by Great Wall of Tibet’ runs as the text in one outdoor campaign, another reads ‘Russian billionaires in debt to the Kremlin;’while yet another reads ‘Arabs and Israelis drown their differences in the Red Sea.’ The campaign includes the copy ‘The Economist- Interpret the world’ and looks at building on previous campaigns that attempt to challenge readers to read deeper into the communication.
View two of the creatives below:
“Our core objective has not changed since the magazine’s launch,” says Suprio Guha Thakurta, managing director, The Economist- India, adding, “When we entered the market, the brand was well known at the top end but there was significant scope for increasing our brand awareness and building a larger reader base. The Economist helps readers ‘Interpret the world’ and that core positioning has not changed. We did, however, want a fresh perspective on our brand thought and that is how the current campaign was conceptualised, to highlight the fact that The Economist helps readers find the connect between various global developments.”
Sumanto Chattopadhyay, executive creative director, O&M says the brief that they received from the client was not very different from what they had started with, when the first India specific campaign was launched.
“The baseline that we started our brand journey with has remained; that of ‘Interpret the world.’ The Economist had to stay true to its positioning of being a brand that challenged its readers. At first glance, the outdoor campaign looks like it has foreign looking text on it. It’s only on closer inspection that you realise that the text is in English but in a script that derives its alphabets from the country mentioned in each campaign. Each campaign seeks to make the connection between two seemingly unconnected events, encouraging readers to go deeper and interpret the message.”
Digital was a key component of completing the campaign strategy, “a way of closing the loop,” as Thakurta terms it. “Although, most publishers are wary of offering their print content online for free, we made a conscious decision to use digital as a part of the communication mix, to drive sampling,” he adds.
“Online is the biggest source of subscriptions for The Economist and was hence our biggest marketing tool. Research into the pattern of consumption of the average Economist reader shows that they typically spend close to two hours on weekends consuming the brand, which is extraordinary. A sizeable number of users who sample the brand online seem to eventually subscribe to the print magazine. The fact that the number of unique visitors has increased by 20% since we launched, seems to suggest that our decision of making the online content available for free has worked and it is a strategy that we intend to continue believing in, as far as online content goes.”