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The Economist’s new campaign is about ‘smarting up’ and not ‘dumbing down’

21-February-2008
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The Economist’s new campaign is about ‘smarting up’ and not ‘dumbing down’

The Economist has rolled out a new outdoor and print campaign to boost its circulation in India from the current 17,000 to 50,000 copies. The campaign has an ad spend of around Rs 3 crore and addresses the intelligent quotient of its readers. O&M is the creative agency on the account. Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Executive Creative Director, O&M South Asia, has conceptualised the visually intriguing and thought-provoking campaign, which revolves around the tagline, ‘Interpret the World’.

The campaign comprises a series of 10 print ads on topics such as Economy, Democracy, War, the United Nations, Religion, Addiction, Conflict, Export, Gravity, and Tourism.

Commenting on the campaign, which is The Economist’s first ever in India, Suprio Guha Thakurta, Associate Publisher, Economist India, said, “Research shows that in India’s booming economy, there is a realisation that what happens outside of India has a direct influence at a local level. The task, therefore, is to raise awareness and communicate that The Economist is a must-read for smart and curious people who want to be ahead of the game. The campaign delivers this brilliantly by showing, and not telling, how The Economist can help people understand their world.”

The brief given to the agency was to come up with a campaign that maintains synergy with the global ads and yet appeals to the Indian psyche. Explaining the thought process, Chattopadhyay said, “Unlike a lot of other brands that believe in ‘A for apple’ kind of advertising, The Economist appeals to the reader who likes to make connections beyond the obvious. Around the world, The Economist is known for its award-winning advertising. There is an entire book on the subject, and you would find a hypothetical Economist ad in every creative person’s portfolio. So, it was both a challenge and a pleasure to create a campaign that combines the flair of the international campaign with a unique twist that reflects the India-specific strategy.”

Jacqui Kean, Global Brand Communications Director, The Economist, said, “From Baltimore to Bangalore, The Economist has shown that ‘smarting up’, not dumbing down, is how media companies can win in an increasingly fragmented and competitive landscape. Across the world, there is a group of people united not by age or demographics, but by how they think and how they look at things. They are as interested in ‘why’ as ‘what’; they will pick up a stone to see what’s under it; they delight in the new, the surprising and the unorthodox. These are the people who read The Economist.”

The Economist has a readership of 1.3 million in 201 countries across the globe, covering insights and analysis of the world’s business, political, scientific, technological and cultural affairs.

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