The Economist

Sendt av: Print Power 13/12/2017



The general election was forecast as a foregone conclusion by the British media, and the public were switching off. Battling against default thinking, The Economist went out to help people make their own informed decisions about the vote – for free.


When Theresa May called a surprise general election in June 2017, the media drew assumptions that left the public disengaged and disinterested. Proximity London and UM London reacted immediately and set about creating a campaign for The Economist that would challenge the norm. With opportunity skyrocketing at key occasions, this was a pivotal moment to grow readership. The aim was to make the newspaper omnipresent through the course of the election, making sure voters had the chance to make their own decision, in the face of being told they didn’t need to.

To jolt a numbered electorate and get them reading the right kind of election coverage, The Economist would be on hand at every turn to offer voters a cutting perspective and a free copy of the newspaper to inform their vote. Making use of The Economist’s well-known wit, Proxmity London and UM London matched the rhythm of the election and borrowed the language of political discourse to make cutting observations, across a series of channels.

From Snapchat to reactive outdoor, potential readers were targeted wherever the conversation was happening. Ballot box papers were mimicked in press ads, and on the morning of the election, the team worked through the night to produce reactive outdoor that reflected the results of the constituencies. These ads were then placed in stations connecting to the constituencies sweeping up interested prospects with experiential placements underneath. At every juncture, the campaign nudged people to request a free copy or to subscribe.


  • The campaign was awarded the DMA 2017 Gold award in the category ‘Entertainment, Publishing and Gaming’
  • The campaign saw engagement across the board, earning almost 170k new re-targettable prospects from a restrained media budget
  • After only setting out to offer everyone a sample of The Economist, 2,878 people chose to subscribe before they had even received their free copy, delivering a ROMI OF £6.65:1
  • The Economist also benefitted from learnings, experimenting with how traditional awareness channels could drive direct response; gaining direct subscriptions from press and outdoor, whilst managing lower CPAs than ever in TV despite a higher media spend
  • Meanwhile, their first foray into Snapchat achieved 81,000 clicks, introducing a new, younger audience to the brand in a cost effective manner, with CPAs running at 33% less than their historic benchmark for digital channels

Source: DMA