I’ve always been a huge fan of this advertising campaign, which leveraged a simple (and, eventually, iconic) design with punchy, clever headlines to create a brand that speaks to the benefits of reading The Economist. It’s desirable in its aspirational positioning: people want to feel smarter, and this campaign implies that all it takes is a magazine subscription.
The print campaign was supplemented by equally clever guerrilla advertising tactics, such as a billboard placed behind a pillar that read “Ignore Obstacles” and a headline on the TOP of a bus that read “Hello to all our readers in high places”.
Snarky? Condescending? Arrogant? Absolutely. But they sure stood out, and these award-winning ads are credited with The Economist‘s remarkable ability to financially sustain itself despite the death of the publishing industry.