The Economist plumps for emotion in return to TV advertising

Spot builds on strategy to cultivate 'globally curious' audience.

The Economist has launched its first TV ad in more than 10 years in an attempt to deepen the magazine's emotional connection with readers.

Created by Proximity, the "Never stop questioning" campaign launched online this morning and will run on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky channels, as well as in the US (CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox).

The ad features a curious young girl whose growth towards adulthood is accompanied by a series of questions about the world that become increasingly sophisticated. 

It culminates in the woman being shown to be a teacher in a classroom as she turns to her students and asks: "Any questions?"

The work was written by Jason Cascarin and art directed by John Treacy, Proximity London's executive creative director. It was directed by Nicole Ackerman through Flare and UM handles the media buying.

The campaign is a shift in direction for the news brand, which has shifted its global marketing team's focus in recent years towards converting new subscribers and planning its distribution more effectively. The team was awarded international marketing team of the year at the 2018 British Media Awards. 

However, the tone of the latest work continues the "globally curious" brand positioning that The Economist has pursued in recent years, with provocative digital executions that highlight controversial issues, such as internet privacy and human rights.

The Economist’s chief marketing officer, Mark Cripps, wrote in Campaign last year that its strategy for luring its globally curious audience is: "First, provoke them – using, in our creative treatment, enticing questions and provocative insights with humour, simplicity and a breadth of topics."

Today, Cripps said of the new campaign: "Our readers never stop questioning the world around them and we believe this campaign will attract a similar audience and encourage them to learn more about The Economist."

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