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Discomfort Futures.

Growing a brand by persuading people out of their comfort zone.


The Challenge.

To attract new, loyal readers to The Economist, providing direct positive ROI.


Real World Thinking.

Money off and deals might work in the short term, but once the offer ends, customers often disappear too. To get the right people (that would stay with the brand) there were no shortcuts; we had to be frank about what The Economist really is – a mind-stretching yet challenging read. Discomfort Futures positioned The Economist as an advocate for change, embracing uncomfortable future trends. The campaign presented people with provocative ideas, to filter out those that fitted with The Economist and those who didn’t.

The Execution.

Our activation set up a challenge: we offered people ice cream and crepes enriched with insects, smoothies made with ugly food rejected by supermarkets, burgers that bleed made from plants and coffee made with water from a portaloo. All those who were open minded enough to go for it, were the right fit for the brand and were encouraged and signed up to a trial of the magazine.

The Results.

  • Over 150,000 global subscriptions
  • Strategy and creative executions adapted for 8 countries
  • 500,000 meaningful impressions
  • 16 global awards
  • Exceeded retention targets post promotional offer

“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

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We achieve measurable results in order for you to make calculated brand decisions.