Winner 2016

Corporate Brand Promotion



Lead Agency



The Challenge

This assignment has 4 key drivers:
How can EY demonstrate its specific presence with, and relevance to, elite CFOs from the world’s largest corporations?
How can EY enhance perception of itself as a thought leader providing specific insights to help CFOs address pressing business issues?
How can EY convene Global CFOs from elite companies in peer to peer discussions on key topics facing today’s CFOs?
How can EY amplify and build its brand specifically with this target audience, have the best brand with CFOs and jump the curve among its competitors in doing so?
EY was looking for an external sponsorship programme enabling it to become synonymous with the global elite CFO community, and to differentiate substantially from its Big 4 rivals, globally. El Agency’s mission was to independently identify the most powerful integrated sponsorship opportunities for EY out in the marketplace to achieve its objectives, while benchmarking how EY could differentiate from its rivals. We needed a big idea that EY could support globally.

The Strategy

El ran a deep and detailed assessment of the 828 media and events space, analysing 300+ activities which EY could engage with. We drew conclusions about a top selection for EY to consider for involvement. However, we also engaged global broad business media owners and stretch-tested their capabilities to create a sponsorship tailored to the brief which would tum
heads. At the broad business media level, there was only one integrated program specifically for CFCs. This was the Wall Street Journal’s program with Deloitte called the CFO Journal, which includes a conference element and a daily CFO Journal email sent to subscribers. A benchmark we wanted to beat!

It was El’s Senior Analyst Shivani Pala who identified the solution: The CN8C Global CFO Council, Sponsored Exclusively by EY. CNBC provides a single business media broadcast channel globally, with studios and footprint across Americas, EMEA and APAC. The concept of creating the Global CFO Council was to create a collective group of CFOs from the world’s largest
organisations, in 3 regional chapters. This group of CFOs would then take part in CN8C editorial activity, such as TV interviews and panel debates, digital activity such as polling and surveys on burning issues, and in live events. With all this activity sponsored exclusively by EY, we had the ability for EY thought leaders to be on CN8C TV in special commercial segments aligned with these editorial segments: a powerful combination. El’s research showed there is no activity comparable to the CN8C Global CFO Council in the marketplace. The concept of the Global CFO Council resonated at every level within CN8C and EY. We also saw editorial buy-in into the concept at the highest level inside CNBC, which lit the touchpaper.

The Council is an editorial concept owned by CNBC. CNBC selects and invites elite CFOs to become Members of the Council for a year or more, and take part in special COuncil activity such as on-screen interviews, panel debates, polls, and small, private events. All of these activities are sponsored by EY. What makes this campaign truly ground-breaking is its ability to convene a large number of CFOs into a single, global body, and engage them in an ongoing programme of integrated activities across the year. It is this which creates a consistent presence for EY, and a flow of branded content.

The Implementation

The campaign’s greatest success is to convene global, elite CFOs in a single activity, exclusively sponsored by EY. CNBC delivered 507 additional TV spots due to the popularity of the Council content with CNBC editorial, and so up went EY’s exposure too! Almost all of these additional spots included
EY Subject Matter Expert Vignettes as adjacencies, increasing EY leaders screen time and brand exposure. The Council TV segments received 10.1 million C-suite impacts globally, far exceeding expectation. Digital engagement was also impressive, with 219,665 Unique Users and 322,934 visits to
CNBC’s Global CFO Council Special Report page between January and September 2015. This is excellent for such niche content. With an average of 3 minutes spent per user and 64% repeat visits, the content is compelling and sticky! (40% higher than CNBC average). Thoughtful, relevant ad
creatives from EY also made a difference: Click-through-rates of 1.83% (average 1.5%) from the Video spots on was excellent, and digital ad click-through-rates also, 1n cases, exceeded CNBC average. Brand awareness of the Council and of EY as its sponsor increased across all regions. Global average awareness of the Council has increased by 50% and global average awareness of EY as the sponsor has remained constantly
high throughout the programme. CNBC has measured perception of EY by agreement to the statement: EY is aware of the issues facing today’s CFOs. Perception among the sample has improved by 21% in Americas and 19% in EMEA, which is great. There continues to be no other single sponsorship activity in the world focused on Chief Financial Officers at this level,
which provides the brand alignment, reach, content stream and thought leadership opportunities for a client which the CNBC Global CFO Council does. For such a coveted market, El believes this is a major achievement for EY.

The Result

The desired outcome of increasing traffic to the AXA Research Fund YouTube Channel to watch the videos was achieved with over 42,000 views of the three 2015 videos produced in collaboration with National Geographic by
end of January. To put this number into perspective, the channel (launched in 2013) had overall generated 72,000 views before the start of the 2015 campaign. The campaign running across was deemed a success with CTR 10.5% higher than the industry average and 2.17% better than the NG average, showing a very high rate of engagement of the NG audience with the creative (along with a completion rate of 84% as of mid-

The association with National Geographic was well-perceived within AXA’s internal channels and the content was broadly used in local markets. Engagement with the campaign at a senior level was strong with the AXA Deputy CEO using one of the videos as the subject of a personal LinkedIn post.The three videos were the focal point of robust social media activation including videos, articles and infographics in multiple channels across 15 countries further enhancing the reach of the content and the audiences engaged. Additionally, the material’s internal and external activation will sustainably continue on AXA channel after the campaign.

In summary, the content created in collaboration with National Geographic was considered to have been an extremely useful tool to expand awareness of the work of the AXA Research Fund. Working with a brand that has a
worldwide reputation for storytelling not only guaranteed the quality of the work produced but allowed the AXA Research Fund to open up to a broader audience and achieve its goal of extending the awareness of its work.