For the morning of the result we would produce reactive outdoor that reflected the results of key constituencies. Digital ads on departure boards at King’s Cross would display how destinations from the station had voted, mere hours before. At the same time, digital ad vans would circle high profile swing seats to keep constituents updated.
So while the early commuters tried to work out what the results meant, we were already offering insight.
In keeping with the wider integrated campaign, we borrowed the language of political discourse and played to the context we found ourselves in – using well-observed animation to mimic departure boards and calling out the results as though we were announcing train arrivals.
We worked through the election night to ensure our creative could be reactive to the results of the election as they came in. That meant that at 04:30, we were still making ads! We booked digital space on departure boards at Kings Cross and deployed digital ad vans to the key constituencies in Greater London.
The work was partly meant to be about having the famous Economist red turn blue, orange or even green. However the ‘live’ nature of the campaign meant we were caught just as off guard by Labour’s resurgence as everyone else and ended up using our brand colours anyway... no foregone conclusions here.
The intelligence of the campaign was arguably best reflected by our focused use of what is usually fairly blunt, broadcast media.
Throughout peak travel time we were able to serve commuters messaging specifically relevant to the constituencies they were travelling from.
We reignited a channel that had previously been dismissed internally on the grounds its efficacy was onerous to measure.
The success of our outdoor activity in driving direct acquisition of subscribers was down to integration. Using the vans to drive awareness and the posters to catch the attention of commuters, we converted immediate interest through a direct text call-to-action on the outdoor posters and concession stands on the concourses at the stations we were present.
In total this generated 84 directly attributable subscriptions – a number that would look small if it wasn’t for the fact it was achieved in just four hours for a return on investment of £6.29:1. Not bad for a morning’s work.
Outdoor directly contributed to an incredible overall campaign performance. It played an important role in an integrated campaign that introduced The Economist to 2,878 new paying readers – delivering a total ROMI of £6.65:1.
For The Economist’s British Election campaign, we transformed what is traditionally an awareness channel into a direct response-driving and measurable tool for creating new subscribers for the newspaper.
When Theresa May called a surprise General Election, the media started to forecast a foregone conclusion that gave people no space to think for themselves. People were actually being encouraged to switch off.
However, The Economist battles against default thinking. So we went all out to make sure people made their own decisions, in the face of being told they didn’t need to.
As events unfolded, wherever they turned, The Economist was on hand to offer voters cutting perspective and a free copy of the newspaper to inform their vote.
We wanted to reach potential readers wherever the conversation was happening. That meant making sharp use of channels we’d normally bypass. Underpinning our approach, was using traditional awareness channels to drive direct, measurable response in our quest for paying readers. That approach was no better exemplified than in our use of outdoor media.