The core objective was to launch The Economist on Snapchat Discover with an industry leading brand as launch sponsor.
Snapchat's unprecedented adoption and growth amongst a youthful, forward looking globally curious audience was an ideal platform to share The Economist's advocacy of liberal, progressive causes in a concise, statistically and visually stimulating package. Like Snapchat's audience, The Economist does not just want to understand the future: we want to shape it, too.
The Economist would be one of the first Discover partners to publish a story that would be live for 48 hours. Goldman Sachs was intrigued, and signed on as launch sponsor which gave them 4 exclusive takeovers of all ad slots within The Economist story on mutually agreed weekends. This provided a stage for Goldman Sachs to incorporate topically relevant, visually stimulating content that was both informative and thought provoking.
The Economist's editorial and innovation team worked very closely alongside Snapchat to orchestrate the launch and keep it confidential in the lead up to the Oct 7th live date. Goldman Sachs was one of the first clients we brought the opportunity to as they have a reputation for producing high quality, visually stimulating and thought provoking content which we believed would nicely complement The Economist Snapchat stories.
Goldman Sachs signed on shortly before the launch, which left a short window of time to firm up the Snap Ad creative, logistics, etc. The Economist, Goldman Sachs, Snapchat and The Media Kitchen all worked together. We had multiple discussions to get alignment on creative tactics, execution, press outreach, promotion and measurement. Although sounds complicated, the process was quite seamless, as all were committed to making the launch a success, and it was!
The Economist published their first Snapchat Discover story entitled 'Will your job go extinct' late in the evening of Oct 7th. This story creatively illustrated how weak economic growth, the on-demand economy and automation mean a future with fewer jobs. As Discover users swiped through The Economist story, they saw a series of Goldman Sachs top Snap ad creative (4x versions in the US, 3x versions in the UK) showcasing the issues most important to Millennials such as housing, transport and marriage with comparisons to previous generations. Users could engage further by swiping up to experience the full Millennials infographic in the web view attachment.
After the launch story on 10/7, Goldman Sachs sponsored the following Economist stories on Discover:
Oct 22-23: story theme: autonomous vehicles, Goldman Sachs creative: Drones infographic
Dec 31-Jan 1: story theme: The 'World in 2017' (top stories for the year ahead), Goldman Sachs creative: Millennials infographic
Jan 7-8: story theme: Democracy in China (the best performing of all four weekends for both The Economist and Goldman Sachs), Goldman Sachs creative: The Rise of China's Consumer Class infographic
The launch was supported by a promotional campaign in social, digital, print and with the press.
This launch far exceeded expectations with unique viewers on The Economist Snapchat Discover channel being 250% of original estimates. This contributed to the Goldman Sachs Snap ads delivering 1016% of original impression estimates (no that's not a typo).
Time spent with The Economist stories during these four weeks averaged over 120 seconds. The Goldman Sachs snap ads encouraged engagement from users, resulting in a 14% average swipe up rate. Once users landed on the infographics in the mobile web view attachments, they spent an average of 63.4 seconds with the extended content, with many users even opting to click around to other content on Goldman Sachs' site – all within the Snapchat environment.
The launch and partnership was picked up by 15 media outlets in the first two weeks, including Digiday, FIPP and Nieman Labs. Snapchat users were impressed by the unexpectedness of two legacy brands being active on Snapchat, and went as far as tweeting things like, 'Easily the best new @Snapchat discover channel is @TheEconomist (and some solid @GoldmanSachs ad content)"
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