Develop an attention-grabbing campaign to drive sales of and subscriptions to The Economist among women, with a view to increasing female readership from 29% to 40% by the end of 2017.
We began by having a good read of The Economist. We found many articles and subjects we felt would easily appeal to women, so we concluded that the problem wasn’t the content of The Economist.
The female economist
(DMA Breakthrough Award brief)
We then looked into the target audience, professional women in their early 30s, and found that this demographic can suffer from 'imposter syndrome', which is when people feel professionally unqualified for the positions they have, even if this isn’t true. We felt that this could be a source of the problem since The Economist’s current branding, while clever and funny, doesn’t give a great deal of insight into the content of the magazine, which could lead to it being seen as unapproachable - especially to women, who may fear judgement of being seen as not ‘the right demographic’ for it.
Our idea was to take the best part of The Economist, the content, and use that to advertise the magazine instead. We took purposefully provocative headlines that we felt would appeal to many new readers, especially women, and engage them to read more.
We developed our strapline - ‘Do you have an issue with this? We do.’ - as a play on both the issues The Economist addresses and the issues of the magazine itself.
For the direct mail part of the campaign we had the idea of having a torn and badly resealed envelope sent out with a stamp reading ‘this envelope has been previously opened’ in an attempt to intrigue recipients into investigating further instead of just binning it. Inside would be a quote from an article about privacy invasion and a call-to-action to receive a free issue of The Economist, which in turn would hopefully encourage them to subscribe.
We also came up with a guerrilla side to this campaign, where we would take controversial issues and set them up in commercial spaces, forcing people to take notice. In support of this we created a hashtag, #HaveAnIssue, to drive social media engagement.
DMA Awards 2017 - Breakthrough Award - Silver Winner