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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.

REAL WORLD THINKING

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.

THE EXECUTION

Our activation sets up a challenge: we offer people ice cream enriched with insects, smoothies made with ‘ugly’ food rejected by supermarkets 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.

Results
40,000+ subscriptions achieved globally
£1.7 million+ lifetime value generated
R.O.I. - 171% from the campaign to date

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