New York Times, T Brand Studio & Mashable
Linking Values to Investing
In 2017, UBS launched a successful global campaign focused on driving awareness of “Sustainable Investing.”
However, by the end of the year, the competitive landscape had become heavily saturated with this relatively new
theme. It was quickly becoming harder to stand out from the crowd as investment banks all over the world threw big
media behind their individual efforts.
The bank’s research showed that while “Sustainable Investing” was becoming a more familiar term with its audience,
there was still a lack of clarity as to what it really meant, how it was relevant to their lives and whether the risk to
their portfolios was worth investing in a new concept. It appeared industry efforts have successfully got the audience
to notice but failed to help them understand.
For the next stage in the marketing strategy, UBS needed to continue awareness efforts by providing in-depth
education and understanding of the theme, while differentiating its efforts from the rest of the industry.
1. Position UBS as a thought leader, change driver and expert in financial services
2. Help the audience understand the term “Sustainable Investing”
3. Drive positive perception
To be successful, the campaign measurements needed to achieve:
• High visibility to the right audience
• Strong engagement to drive real awareness and education
• Quality traffic to UBS.com to drive brand preference
But how could we achieve awareness, education and cut through the mass media noise of competitors?
We had learned a lot from the content ecosystem launched in 2017 and one of these learnings showed that when
the content was highly relevant and engaging, the audience would follow through to UBS.com to take the next step
— a KPI that wasn’t previously a key focus, but that we now wanted to grow in 2018.
Additionally, we wanted to account for a variety of content-consumption behaviors — not everyone accesses content
digitally and we wanted our 2018 efforts to reach our audience where they are. Thus, we wanted to place in digital,
print, podcast, email, social and at a live event.
Spark Foundry identified the most popular terms and topics within Sustainable Investing and matched those against
UBS core business units to hone the broad theme into a more focused approach.
Publishers were briefed based on audience affinity and topic authority and scored against a bespoke sheet of 17
criteria, which were weighted according to the client’s priorities, with metrics like data availability, audience reach,
content capability and innovation. The process resulted in two Sustainable Investing partners in 2018: The New York
Times and Mashable.
Mashable’s audience and brand have a strong affinity for driving social good. It hosts an event each year in NYC
called the Social Good Summit in partnership with the U.N. Foundation, featuring thought-leaders, politicians,
celebrity activists and change drivers to bring awareness to the UN Sustainable Investment Goals. Mashable also
drives engagement through focused “Social Good” categories online. Its topic authority and aligned communication
goals made it a great partner to showcase UBS as a “change driver and expert.”
The New York Times had data-driven insights showing steady increases of content consumption within the thematic
topics that were core to UBS, so we knew its audience had an appetite for the subject.
Using NYT audience’s consumption-behavior data, we could see its audience’s interest in consuming content in new
interactive ways such as swiping side to side. We used this to determine the optimum content format that would
consciously engage NYT readers through the quiz participation while educating them through the storytelling
Lastly, differentiation was crucial for the brand to stand out from competitors and be distinct. NYT’s T Brand Studio
offered high-quality production that would help to the bank break the traditional banking creative of stock imagery,
boardrooms and business people.
Mashable acted as an amplification partner to make the topics more relatable to the interests, trends and topics of
affluent millennials and entrepreneurs, and educated readers on how they can make an impact while being
financially savvy regarding their futures, businesses and families.
We used Mashable’s data to gauge trending interests and aligned them with the Sustainable Investing narrative and
red thread. Each piece of content incorporated an advertising asset, creative asset and mention of the NYT content
to create familiarity, encouraging the audience to explore the next stage in the education funnel.
As a premium sponsor, UBS partnered with the UN Foundation and Mashable’s Social Good Summit in NYC to
amplify UBS’s message of driving change through SI. To showcase UBS’s expertise, the bank’s Head of Impact
Investing, Andrew Lee gave a speech on the importance of partnerships between individuals, governments and
private capital in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing UBS’s commitment to mobilize the
impact. A second UBS Global visionary spoke on a panel to keep consistency and relevance in a new format and
fresh approach to the topic. The event was supported with content, social media posts from featured influencers and
a live broadcast.
With NYT and T Brand Studio, we designed a Sustainable Investing quiz, helping the readers determine their core
values based on UN Sustainable Development Goals such as Climate Action, Government and Ethics, Economic
Growth, Responsible Consumption.
The quiz was constructed to ask the reader questions based on the three pillars of Sustainable Investing:
1. Inclusion – Adding more sustainable businesses to your portfolio
2. Exclusion – Removing businesses that don’t align to your values from your portfolio
3. Impact – investing in bespoke funds designed to drive impact – similar to philanthropy but these funds offer
Plus, we added a personal pillar that aligns to the reader personally.
At the end of the six-question quiz, the reader was presented with a weighted portfolio suggesting the order in
which SDGs appeared most important to them.
If the reader decided that they wanted to understand the next steps and portfolio further they could “Explore more”
via a bespoke New York Timesian article on UBS.com specifically linked to the core topic highlighted in their portfolio result.
The article also featured new creatives in the quiz’s aesthetic to smoothen out the reader journey and not jar the
reader when they land on UBS’s website.
The Results (12 week run time)
• The partnership delivered over 100 million impressions to the NYT quiz driving over 390,000 thousand page views
with users spending an average of 01:28mins with the quiz, outperforming industry benchmarks by 23 seconds
• 25,000 quiz completions with a 60.67% completion rate (6 question quiz)
• Over 50% of those who completed the quiz, went on to explore more on UBS.com. From there there was an
additional average dwell time of 0:55mins on UBS.com, x50 ‘contact us’ form starts and x25 ‘contact us’ form
completes. To get to this stage a user had to complete 14+ clicks and then complete a 11 question form. If at least
one of these leads turned into a client, this campaign will have paid for itself multiple times over.
• 44 million downloads of NYT’s The Daily podcast with the bespoke UBS SI advert, which was 300% over target.
• 69% of users said they felt that UBS was an expert on Sustainable Investing after reading the content
• 62% of users said they felt like UBS was a bank for someone like them after reading the content. This is a 32%
increase in sentiment from content launched with NYT in 2016.
• 60% of users said they would be likely to contact UBS following exposure to the content.
• Users spent an average of 01:47mins with Mashable’s associated content (across x6 article), outperforming
benchmark of 1:30mins.
• 1,300 physical attendees and 1.3 billion social impressions achieved via the live Social Good Summit event with over
100 thousand video views of the UBS branded videos from the onstage content.