Persuading people out of their comfort zones to instigate growth

Brand challenge

To attract new, loyal readers to The Economist, providing direct and positive return on investment.


Money off and deals might work in the short term, but once the offer ends, customers often disappear too. To get to the right people (that would stay with the brand) there were no shortcuts; we have to be frank about what The Economist really is – a dense and challenging read. Discomfort Futures positions The Economist as an advocate for change, by embracing uncomfortable future trends. The campaign presents people with provocative ideas, to filter out those that fit with The Economist and those who don’t.


Our activation sets up a challenge: we offer people ice cream enriched with insects, smoothies made with ‘ugly’ food rejected by supermarkets, burgers that bleed made from plants and a cup of coffee, whereby the beans can be converted into biofuel. All those open minded enough to go for it are the right fit for the brand, and are encouraged to sign up to a trial of the magazine.

100,000+ subscriptions achieved globally
£1.7 million+ lifetime value generated
R.O.I. - 171% from the campaign to date



Dead Man’s Fingers

Glacéau vitaminwater

Providing a real platform for creative talent

My Little Pony

Taking the magic of Equestria on tour, to keep kids playing

Guitar Hero Live

Turning a festival activation up to 11

Coors Light

Getting ‘Damme’ cool to genuinely refresh millennials


Bringing the outdoors in to take a step towards being green


Inspiring office tea times to brew up mid-afternoon motivation