Lombard Odier Group
Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA
VMLY&R, Wavemaker, RS Solutions
Revealing The Unexpected Value Of Nature
Lombard Odier’s current branding campaign journey started in 2016. In that year, we launched a campaign to articulate our central philosophy of “rethink everything,” or constantly re-evaluating the world around us. In 2018, we applied this philosophy by making a public, unequivocal commitment to sustainability, heralding the Sustainability Revolution and the unprecedented investment opportunity it represented. In 2019, we described this Revolution’s investment implications– the need to identify ‘Eagle’ companies with far-sighted vision, embracing sustainability, and avoid the head-in-the-sand Ostriches. Then in 2020, we used our campaign to articulate the fundamental lessons from the pandemic and how they emphasised the need, and the opportunity, to transition to a more sustainable economic model. These campaigns have been hugely successful, bringing booming levels of traffic and engagement on our digital channels and visibility in the world’s major financial and lifestyle publications.
In 2021, we continued our journey to explore how we can help sustainably drive global economic growth in collaboration with the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, an initiative founded by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. We communicated on the imperative of valuing and investing in our Natural Capital. The challenge was two-fold for this particular campaign: the first was to ensure a smooth transition from a traditional global awareness/visibility campaign around sustainability towards a more product oriented one; and the second was to specifically highlight the true economic value of nature and the importance of building an economy that works in harmony with it. We embarked upon a mission to prove that nature is not just a fragile ecology to protect nor a finite resource to profit from but that it is the world’s most valuable industry and investing in it is the path to a sustainable prosperity.
The Content Solution
Our challenge was to portray the crucial role biodiversity plays in our economic system and the inestimable value of nature. Our guiding principle was that we need to restore balance and put nature back at the centre of our economy, as over 50% of GDP is reliant on nature. If we let species disappear at the rate at which they are disappearing now, 75% could become extinct in the next century. The creative solution was to communicate that nature is the world’s most valuable industry. We are dependent on it, and without it there is no economy.
We focussed on creative visuals portraying stunning imagery of some of the nature’s protagonists.
Our campaigns juxtapose arresting visuals with striking, unexpected text, conveying the urgency of the message, intriguing the viewer, and inviting them to discover more. This campaign caught the Zeitgeist by combining words like “industrialist” with an image of a bee (stating that bees never send invoices for the crucial pollination task they carry out). Other visuals combined the words like “entrepreneurs, agriculturalist, engineer” using natural images (ants, seabird, shellfish). They describe how these actors in nature play a unique role in our ecosystem and what their estimated economic value is. Ants nurture and protect our forests (entrepreneurs), seabirds provide fertiliser (agriculturalist) and shellfish are super-filters (engineer). And ironically none of them send us invoices or ever take days off!
This campaign expressed our central investment convictions as an asset manager. It aimed to articulate the way in which our investment analysis anticipates and responds to a changing world, via ten sustainability dynamics that outline the end-goals of the CLIC® (Circular, Lean, Inclusive and Clean) economy and via scientific tools to assess temperature alignment; waste and recycling; and biodiversity dependency. It was backed up by leading research, from our partners at the Circular Bioeconomy Alliance, the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and from our proprietary investment teams.
The accompanying content on our website and digital channels was attractive to a lay audience, but also included in-depth analysis and commentary from sustainability experts. It was designed to appeal to both institutional investors and private clients. It included a new sustainability ‘hub’ full of interactive graphics and statistics on the scale of the current challenge in our take-make-waste economy, and articles by our Sustainable Investment, Research, Strategy and Stewardship team, including economists, environmental engineers, scientists, financial and geospatial analysts.
The Media/Content Amplification Solution
The media solution focussed on collaborating with renowned financial and lifestyle media partners offering top quality positioning in a contextual environment. Our media approach has always been – fewer, bigger and better positions. Our mission was to stand out as an authentic high-end brand with rich and powerful visuals that create an intriguing editorial story. We invested in formats such as brand wraps and full-page ads (they have been our exclusive standard since the 2016 launch) to deliver impactful brand value with our audience. Additionally, we unlocked a unique long-term opportunity in OOH, focussing on Geneva airport where our bank is headquartered, and where we knew we could reach a captive HNW audience. Finally, social media (organic and sponsored) complemented our strategy, creating immense visibility and dynamic conversations amongst our online communities (followers: LinkedIn 115’000, Twitter 15’000, Instagram 14’100). The YouTube platform represented the perfect environment to serve our manifesto video and helped us reach an outstanding amount of views (see below in results section).
Our final plans to build the brand came together as:
• Premium financial print and digital: conversation ownership, land the sustainability message where influence is created
• Wraps and takeovers: communicate scale and stature and standout
• OOH: be bold and show that Lombard Odier can and should be noticed
• Social media: sustain an interactive conversation with our online communities and attract new followers
The campaign has been very successful. The enrichment of our digital ecosystem (paid search and social alongside organic; video rather than static banners) to drive traffic to LO.com differentiated this campaign from our previous ones.
In the two and a half months following the campaign launch on 10 May 2021, we registered 21.5mn digital ad impressions, and our print ad circulation reached 2.7 million people. Our manifesto video was viewed over 6 million times. Visits to our website continued to rise resulting in a strong average time of 2 minutes spent on the site.
On social media, our LinkedIn posts registered 2.2mn impressions, those on Twitter 2.1mn, and those on Instagram 1mn. In terms of followers, we are now ahead of key competitors on all three platforms.
The click-through rate on our manifesto video was 0.42%, and those of our digital ads 0.45% on average, well above the publication benchmarks we used. Click-through rates on our paid search ads were 5.20%, well above the 3.79% financial benchmark.
The top performing titles and formats included digital ads on the Financial Times, NZZ, The Economist and Bilan. We have used this data to inform the targeting of our following campaign, launched in Fall 2021.