THE ECONOMIST // Future Forces

Experiential marketing - Digesting content across Asia Pacific


One of the biggest challenges The Economist faces is changing brand perceptions that the publication covers much more than just business, finance and politics. The Economist wanted to attract new, loyal readers and drive a conversation that positions the brand as an advocate for positive change.

The Strategy

Whilst others shy away from controversy, The Economist is front and center reporting, providing thought-provoking content that enlightens and challenges readers.

We chose to embrace the challenge offering, formulating a “discomfort future” approach that self-selects The Economist’s progressive target audience. Discomfort Future positions The Economist as an advocate for change by offering mind-stretching experiences that challenges potential readers to step out of their comfort zone to consider bold new concepts covered by the newspaper that will shape people’s lives in the future.

Discomfort future activations have challenged people with insect-laced ice cream as a protein-source alternative to tackle the global growing population, explore “man-made” meat as an alternative carnivorous fix to curb environmental and ethical pressures, consider the coffee in your cup as the fuel of the future and dive into the ocean with an immersive virtual reality experience to get a deeper view on the rapidly depleting fish stocks and make fishing more sustainable.

The Results

  • Over 10,000 new readers acquired across Asia Pacific, 100% against target
  • Experiential has become the leading acquisition channel for new readers
  • Annual readership targets for experiential have increased by over 40% for the region
  • Catalyst appointed agency lead of choice for all experiential marketing across Asia Pacific
  • Regional roll-out for experiential campaigns – opening:
    • Hong Kong
    • Singapore
    • Malaysia
    • Australia
    • New-Zealand
    • India