Advertising Case: The Economist

This case study demonstrates how the power of content and context can deliver long-term effects for a brand.

After a series of successful campaigns had portrayed The Economist as a must-read publication for the entrepreneurial classes, circulation had started to plateau and the audience had lost its connection to a magazine they deemed as a 'handbook for the corporate elite'.

Working with the agencies Proximity and UM, The Economist devised a campaign focused on the provocative nature of truth, a common interest for readers and nonreaders, using humorous and accessible tagline ads.

By re-structuring teams and deploying the right data-driven infrastructure including ‘newsrooms’ to produce topical ad copy, The Economist used tailored, programmatic platforms to find more than five million previously unseen, retargetable users at a time when they were likely to be receptive to commercial messages.

The activity created 64,000 paid subscriptions. Using the projected lifetime value of subscribers, this is estimated to equal a payback of £25 of revenue for every £1 invested.


Case details below:




The Economist


The Economist




Proximity, UM

Country of origin


Link to full case study