The Economist Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions
For decades, The Economist promoted itself as the ticket to career success for white-collar warriors – but was often dismissed by those disinterested in reading what they considered the corporate elite handbook.
The Economist and Proximity London saw that a younger audience was rejecting the publication – perceiving it as boring and impenetrable – or had never even considered it. To increase engagement and penetration within that demographic, they needed to show how The Economist was relevant to them – turning them into readers, and ultimately into subscribers.
Driven by the insight “There is nothing more provocative than the truth,” Proximity London established three tasks:
- Provoke the intellectually curious
- Demonstrate The Economist’s relevance
- Give readers their own ‘Economist epiphany’
They used recent editions for the most provocative insights, the freshest and most arresting views, which may have run counter to common wisdom – addressing topics far outside business and finance and, of course, showcased The Economist’s characteristic dry wit. An initial spike delivered a first pool of prospects for future retargeting, while initial learnings informed always-on activity. The combined power of content, creativity and context surprised people, changed minds and stimulated action.
- The largely digital display campaign directly provoked 5.2 million new people into exploring The Economist content
- Paid subscriber base grew by 64,405
- Responsible for delivering £51.7 million in lifetime revenue and a revenue ROMI of over 25:1 from our year one spend of £2.03M.
- New subscribers were the precise target audience – younger, female skewed – showing how programmatic display can deliver powerful, business-changing brand effects