Shortlisted 2017




Lead Agency


Contributing Company



The Challenge

Ernst & Young’s (EY) “purpose” is to build a better working world. This is fundamental to its strategy as a distinctive global brand and to leave a lasting legacy for EY people, its clients and communities. But how does a global professional services organization cut through in a world of undifferentiated B2B marketing to bring its purpose to life in a sector not historically known for this?
The challenge was to unlock and bring the emotional potential of EY’s purpose – building a better working world – to life in an original, captivating and unexpected way.

When EY put its purpose into practice, the brand was known best in its heartland of audit and accountancy. However as part of building a
better working world, EY have a diverse range of other services, for example advisory/consulting, digital expertise across all service lines and sectors, and transactions/M&A that we needed to communicate. We needed to help EY be seen as a global professional services organization with a broad portfolio of services, that asks better questions and can help C-suite professionals (CXOs) navigate an increasingly disruptive, digital world.

In demonstrating how asking better questions leads to better answers for people, clients and communities, EY was able to showcase how
the breadth and depth of its services can help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges and can help build trust and confidence in the
capital markets.

Success would be measured in terms of:
1. Ability to target the global C-suite audience effectively and efficiently
2. Increased awareness of EY’s purpose, Building a Better Working World
3. Engagement of the C-suite audience with the campaign
4. Increased consideration for EY’s range of services

The Strategy

Aiming to inspire a global C-suite audience around its purpose of building a better working world, EY created a ”Better Questions” global media
campaign, delivered via key C-suite engagement channels, that sought to persuade decision-makers and leaders to think about where great ideas and solutions come from.

A film was at the centre of this campaign, transforming EY’s “Better Questions” strategy into an idea that celebrates well-known thinkers and innovators through time and the impact that their curiosity and asking of better questions has had on the world to date.

Our insight showed us that targeting a global C-Suite audience was extremely difficult, but not impossible. The Csuite are highly educated, hardworking, ambitious and lead busy lives that are difficult to disrupt. Although they are time poor, they’re willing to make time in their day if a piece of content can help fuel their influencer status.

There are key global financial hubs they travel to frequently, providing a focus for our communications and enabling us to balance the need for
individual geographies, global hubs, and media choices that followed them throughout their journey: travel, pan-regional, social, and premium
business/news media.

Using data, we identified 3 key “moments on receive” when CXOs were most open to asking new questions – and considering new answers, and
in turn more receptive to EY’s “Better Questions” content:
• First thing in the morning whilst they prepare for the day ahead; CXOs are early risers and are often hungry for news content as part of the
day’s preparation. For example, Quartz email open rate is 80% between 5-8am, 3x the average, among a Global Executive audience.
• During their ‘daily commute’; for CXOs a daily commute often means flying – 81% travelling monthly & 31% travelling weekly for business.
Since CXOs are interrupted over 12x a day on average while at work, this moment was sacred ‘alone’ time where they might be more open to being inspired.
• ‘Lean-in’ moments; CXOs need content from reputable sources that will help fuel their influencer status. These moments are more likely to be during their working day while they actively seek out videos, articles, and infographics related to technology, innovation, and disruption.

Our media strategy: Follow the global C-Suite audience and focus communications on 6 prestige hubs, targeting them at key moments on
receive with content that inspires them to ask better questions and fuels their influencer status.

The Implementation

We executed the strategy of following the global C-suite audience by building our media plan around the following 3 key moments on receive:

Preparing for the Day Ahead
• Being an influential, innovative news platform for the C-Suite audience, we partnered with Quartz to create a 14x ‘better questions’ bulletin series, looking at how questions shaped industries and companies (e.g. This high-quality, ‘snackable’ content was the perfect influencer fuel for C-suites first thing in the morning, and was distributed through both the Quartz daily brief newsletters and the premium desktop/mobile display.

The Daily Commute
• To inspire CXOs during frequent international travel to key hubs, we used large-scale OOH executions in prestige 3 of 6 hub
airports, with a focus on high quality, digital, visually arresting sites & executions.
• The carefully selected hub airports were London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Charles de Gaulle, New York
JFK and Hong Kong International, and within each hub we showcased different EY questions relating to consulting, advisory
and digital topics to inspire the C-suite audience during their journey and convey the breadth and depth of EY’s services.

Leaning In
• To further strengthen EY’s credibility related to key business themes such as disruption, we partnered with the Economist
Group to sponsor ‘The Disrupters,’ an Economist Films editorial video series looking at how technology has disrupted different
business verticals and revealing the ‘better question’ that enabled disruption in each case. This was paired with supporting EYsponsored
EIU articles around ‘Thriving through disruption’ through the lenses of Culture & Purpose, Leadership, Innovation and Customer trends. The content was created with a distinctive tone to help cut through category clutter to the C-suite audience. (
• With LinkedIn, we created a unique global alliance across paid and owned channels that enabled highly targeted distribution of a wide array of EY ‘better questions’ content.
Across ALL moments on receive to drive further reach & frequency:
• Programmatic targeting of display, video, mobile, social, search and native advertising across 10 key markets; USA, UK, Germany, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, India, and Hong Kong.

The Result

This strategy and execution clearly delivered outstanding results.
Targeting the global C-Suite efficiently and effectively:
• Nearly 80% of top end CXOs were exposed to EY’s building a better working world campaign.
• 75% of the EY target audience who were exposed to the LinkedIn campaign activity remembered seeing EY content and ads in their feed.
• 74% of the EY target audience were exposed to the campaign across Economist properties.

Increased awareness of EY’s brand purpose ‘Building a Better Working World:
• Awareness of EY’s brand purpose increased from 14% to 26% amongst Economist C-suite subscribers.
• C-suites exposed to programmatic display ads were 93% more likely to associate EY with asking better questions – 9x the industry benchmark
uplift of 10%.
• Favourability towards EY and consideration of the brand as ‘distinctive’ increased by 27% and 26% respectively amongst those exposed to the
campaign on LinkedIn.

Engagement of the audience with the campaign:
• EY is now ranked 3rd globally for Content Marketing Score on LinkedIn, a measure of the reach, frequency and engagement generated by the
brand’s content – and are now equivalent to major publishing brands such as The Economist, Harvard Business Review and Forbes.
• Views of a video exploring EY’s brand purpose rose from 10,000 pre-campaign views to well over 24 million plays and 9 million completed

Improved consideration for the full range of EY solutions:
• Consideration of EY products (Audit, Tax, Transactions/M&A, Advisory/Consulting, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Digital) grew by an
average of 31% amongst those exposed to the campaign through LinkedIn.
• Economist ‘The Disrupters’ series content significantly increased consideration of EY Digital and Consulting Services: 4 of 60 Digital +41pp
increase vs. pre campaign o Consulting +20pp increase vs. pre campaign