Shortlisted 2022

Financial Services


ING Wholesale Banking

Entered by:

The Trust: The Wall Street Journal | Barron's Group


Greenhouse Group

Progress With Purpose

The Challenge

In the run up to the international COP26 summit held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October – 12 November 2021, ING Group CEO Steven van Rijswijk referred to it as a ‘moment of truth’, when the world would be watching to see whether global leaders would align their countries’ emissions reduction strategies with what’s needed to meet global climate goals.

Sustainable practices and net zero goals are not only up to governments – the private sector must also play a role with banks having an important task in financing the energy transition and guiding clients to more sustainable business models. With COP26 as a crucial tipping point, the financial services sector was met with demands to provide products and solutions that turned sustainability into a competitive advantage responsibly, effectively and swiftly.

The finance sector will play a pivotal role at COP26, Mr. van Rijswijk says. “They’ve dubbed this the ‘finance COP.’ Mobilizing finance is one of the UN’s top goals. At the time of The Paris Agreement, the private sector was hardly acknowledged, let alone finance, but now we’re center stage.”

ING, a global bank with a strong European base, serves large corporations and financial institutions across over 40 countries. As a leader in providing solutions for sustainable transformation, the challenge for ING was to become more visible in this field by raising awareness of their services and perception of the brand.

Therefore, the objective for this international campaign was to increase awareness, credibility and consideration of ING’s products and services among CxOs and senior business decision makers who are leading and pushing forward sustainable change within their company or industry.

The Content Solution

The content solution focused on indispensable voices to help today’s decision-makers become tomorrow’s change-makers at this crucial moment in sustainability’s progress. Progress with Purpose is a four part series which puts ING experts at the center of the dialogue and an innovative agenda.

Through authentic video podcasts, the series was crafted to equip business decision makers and the global C-Suite on how to turn sustainability into a competitive advantage responsibly, effectively and swiftly.

Each podcast was published with a supporting article for the audience to engage further.

Phase 1: Published 30 September 2021, 1 month before COP 26

  • The opener to the series, Chapter 1: What’s In It For Me focused on how ESG can be central to decision making and a company’s performance beyond P&L.The podcast featured Marieke Blom, Chief Economist The Netherlands ING, on what growth really means now, while the supporting article provided a deep dive into ESG as a business priority that goes beyond buzzwords.
  • Chapter 2: How to Finance A Sustainable World was published alongside Chapter 1 as a useful combination for the target audience. The podcast featured ING’s Global Head of Energy, Michiel de Haan, and Global Lead for New Energy Technologies, Gido van Graas where they discussed How to Get the Energy Transition Right, exploring decarbonization as a powerful tool in the fight against climate change and how mastering it will become a key competitive differentiator. The supporting article examined the role of financial institutions in how sustainability can evolve and become an essential part of doing business.

Phase 2: Published 29 October, 2 days before COP 26

  • Purposefully timed, Chapter 3: Lessons From a Crisis discussed how the pandemic revealed weaknesses in the global supply chain vulnerable to other forms of disruption such as climate change, political unrest and cybercrime. Smart Tech For Sustainable World Trade podcast featured Jules Oskar Kollmann, Global Lead of Containers and Logistics ING on how blockchain, AI and IoT are enabling a fully digitized and sustainable global supply chain.
  • COP 26 as a Tipping Point, the closing chapter, featured Steven van Rijswijk, CEO of ING Group in our What to Watch at COP 26 article as well as a video podcast on Why Speed is of the Essence with Andrew Bester, Head of Wholesale Banking ING, where he explains how a focus on collaboration, alignment and agility is needed to transition to a low-carbon future.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

At the center of the content solution was a co-branded ING and WSJ Custom hub on, in front of its paywall. The hub provided a dedicated destination to publish, and track engagement performance, of two content bursts; publishing Chapters 1 and 2 on 30 September, and Chapters 3 and 4 on 29 October 2021.

Both bursts were supported by paid-for promotional media and custom content integration units (CIUs) across multiple channels, each contributing different attributes to the effectiveness of our strategy:

WSJ Digital Network ad targeting products were applied across across US, EMEA and APAC, while tapping into not only the WSJ digital audience, but also across the Barron’s Group (BG), ie Barrons and MarketWatch platforms

  • 1P Audience targeting of WSJBG C-Suite readers provided surety that Progress with Purpose would leverage WSJBG’s ability to reach more C-Suites globally than any other international media brand*.
  • Thematic targeting, powered by award-winning proprietary ad tech DJID, ensured Progress with Purpose promotional CIUs were seen across WSJ Digital Network alongside the most recent editorial coverage relating to the next generation of disruptors who are shaping the worlds of technology and business; aligning with our series’ utility to equip decision-makers who are wanting to be leading change-makers in sustainability
  • Native placements, such as homepage, section fronts and in-article, were designed to look more like editorial modules vs standard CIU ad units, and are often high performing traffic drivers

Mobile ad units across WSJBG channels in the Apple News mobile app across US, UK and Australia markets; took advantage of The Wall Street Journal’s long-term collaborative partnership with Apple and its news aggregator service

Paid amplification across Linkedin and Twitter social platforms combined both Linkedin’s concentrated, professional and thought leadership environment with the broader, larger scale and breaking news-centric quality of Twitter as headlines were emerging from COP 26

The campaign’s objective to increase the awareness, credibility and consideration of ING’s products and services among CxOs was quantified with the associated paid media’s aim to deliver 26MM estimated impressions and 68,000 guaranteed pageviews.

The paid media was to be closely monitored and its effectiveness reported on in real-time by a dedicated WSJ performance analyst, to ensure these media targets were met and to optimize page view quality throughout the campaign – running from 30 September – 31 December 2022.

*Source: Ipsos Global Business Influencer Survey, 2020

The Result


  • Podcast completion rate 6.94%, 1.76x above benchmark
  • Smart Tech For Sustainable World Trade and COP26 as a Tipping Point saw the strongest quality page view rates; reflecting key messaging objectives
  • Best performing podcast (starts, quality listens and completion rates) was What Growth Really Means Now. This episode was leveraged further with targeted Linkedin promotion; reaching 206k+ Linkedin users defined as C-Suite and garnered 3.5k+ quality listens
  • Each chapter was amplified through @WSJCustom Twitter handle, delivering 8.6M social impressions and 0.59% CTR


  • 21% of the engaged audience were C-Suite, and 63% were at least management level
  • Over 96% of the audience had Finance or Trading/Investing as a central business interest
  • 50% of the audience fell under the business professional group, with and 24% being comprised the IT (14%) or Finance (10%) categories


  • 9 in 10 respondents rated ING’s reputation to be excellent or very good after engaging with Progress with Purpose
  • 9 in 10 respondents said Progress with Purpose improved their impression of ING

After engaging with Progress with Purpose, ING was seen most favorably among competitors on a number of metrics, including:

  • Consideration
  • Having a societal commitment beyond banking
  • Being trustworthy and working with integrity
  • Being a leader in facilitating sustainable business practices

January 2022, ING carried out research to measure any significant improvements in their sustainability brand attributes. ING’s position was considerably stronger than mid 2021.

Notably, ING saw a +55 pt increase among their users relating to ING having a leading sustainability profile, and a 21+ pt increase in ING non-users who now consider ING as having a societal commitment beyond banking.

The Progress with Purpose campaign was an active contributor to this shift, along with other ING efforts throughout 2021.