Every year The Economist hosts a series of panel discussions at Cannes Lions Festival called 'Wake Up With The Economist'. This is a forum for thought leaders to discuss pressing issues impacting the communication industry globally.
– How might we drive high profile attendees who have a packed agenda to our sessions?
– How might we communicate our credentials in creative content and marketing solutions to agencies and brands?
We targeted The Economist readers on the Espresso app, Economist.com and Digital Edition and exceeded engagement benchmarks by more than 10 fold, doubling the number of attendees from previous year.
The problem space presented two challenges. The first concerned the development of a brand for the event, one strong enough to help raise awareness and drive high-profile audience to the panel. The second challenge was to develop a campaign concept and engagement actions that would help promote the event while emphasising The Economist creative in-house credentials.
I developed a concept that combined the iconic Economist headline style with impactful visuals exploring rational/creative dualism. The goal was to emphasise that besides its strong rational and analytical capacity, The Economist also has creative skills, thus making us the most suitable partner to help clients connect with intelligent, discerning audiences.
The result was the headline 'Thinking head / Thinking ahead', that applied a subtle wordplay in the true Economist tradition, and which expressed with clarity the 'rational + forward looking' message we wanted to convey. The visuals introduced a strong pixel based language that built on the publication's iconic all-type campaigns to demonstrate we could also deliver impactful visual communication.
We aimed at reaching a portion of our qualified global audience with an interest in the Cannes Lions Festival, focusing on propagating the message across our digital properties, following a strategy that started with online banner ads served across The Economist.com website, digital editions and the Espresso mobile app. The banner ads conveyed basic event information and led users to a mobile game – a fast-pacing quiz based on L/R swiping that would identify the user as more rational or creative. Once users finished the game they were pointed to the event's microsite containing information about speakers, schedules and blog posts and other.
Additionally, I developed a sting animation and soundscape for the on-stage video wall, as well as a series of freebies including a cardboard VR headset and an Instagram card to drive engagement on social platforms.
The 'Wake Up With The Economist' is now a established discussion platform that continues to bring excellent speakers to its panels and attract an ever increasing qualified audience year after year, thus securing the lion's share in Cannes.
Client The Economist
Agency The Economist
Creative direction Vilmar Pellisson
Digital strategy Vilmar Pellisson
Copywriting Caroline Kinneberg, Vilmar Pellisson
Design Vilmar Pellisson, Ligia Murphy
Digital production Michael Dolan
Animation Martin Holzmeister Studio
Sound design Pedro Pagy