The Economist

Discomfort Futures

Challenging misconceptions to attract new loyal readers.

Gaining new subscribers, but the right type who’d stick with the brand, relied on The Economist being seen differently.
Challenging popular brand misconceptions, needed us to bring to life the publications breadth of content. But authenticity was key – finding the right subscribers meant showing The Economist for what it is – a mind-stretching yet challenging read.

Our global strategy – ‘Discomfort Futures’, positioned The Economist as an advocate for change, embracing uncomfortable future trends. Impactful but polarising experiences in cities, Universities and work places all sought to filter out those that fitted with The Economist and those who didn’t.


Editorial focussing on global sustainability led to some of the most stand creative ideas – like serving commuters with insect ice creams and crepes, plant burgers that bled, and coffee made from waste-water, each experience leading to an immediate subscription.


Our approach led to an ‘always on’ global programme of campaigns, all bringing to life The Economist coverage of topics shaping the future of our world.

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Less agreement with “The Economist produces dry and boring content”

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Subscriptions from activations in 14 countries

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Global Awards

“It has been fantastic to see results continually improving through the campaign. We now see experiential as our key to marketing in the real world. Sense has taken this campaign concept to the next level, building a solid success case study that is currently feeding into our future experiential marketing strategy.”

Marina Haydn, Managing Director, Global Circulation, The Economist