21/03/16

The Economist’s experiential campaign by Sense awarded Best Brand Strategy by Marketing Agency Association

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Another award for the real world activation that has generated more than 15,000 subscriptions for the renowned business title. 

The Economist’s Discomfort Food experiential campaign recently won Best Brand Strategy at the Marketing Agency Association’s (MAA’s) Best Awards, 2016. This follows the same campaign, devised by Sense, picking up Best Sales and Marketing Activity of the Year at the recent PPA MagSell 16 awards, along with a succession of awards in 2015, including ‘Gold’ at the Institute of Promotional Marketing and the Drum awards.

The real world campaign uses key topics featured in The Economist to identify and engage with interested consumers in urban areas and offer them discounted subscriptions. This included offering ice cream and crepes containing insects, which are seen as a way to relieve the global food shortage.

“By engaging potential subscribers with something interesting, but not everyone’s cup of tea, we ‘pre-screened’ the more reticent and close-minded and tacitly flattered the more daring and intellectually curious, letting them know that they might be the type who would enjoy The Economist. We called this matchmaking strategy ‘dis-comfort food’.” explained Sense Board Account Director Sally McLaren. “This technique has generated over 15,000 subscriptions to date and a 191% return on investment.”

Explaining the reasoning behind awarding the campaign Best Brand Strategy, the MAA said: “This was activity that truly showed a brave #DoDifferent spirit while being rooted firmly in The Economist’s brand values. The Economist’s ‘insect’ ice-cream tapped into the curiosity of its audience, taking experiential to new levels to attract subscribers.”

Commenting on the award-winning campaign, Marina Haydn, Senior Vice President, Circulation and Retail Marketing at The Economist, said: “I’m delighted that our experiential strategy, which has been encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and read The Economist, has been recognised with a number of awards this year. The real world is proving to be a key space for performance brand marketing, that is not going unnoticed by the marketing industry – and more importantly – potential readers.”

Marina Hayden discusses the strategy behind this successful award-winning campaign in this exclusive video.

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