Shortlisted 2022

Financial Services



Entered by:

T Brand, the content studio of New York Times Advertising


Spark Foundry

Tackling The Climate Crisis With The Visionaries Of Tomorrow

The Challenge

With nearly 25 years’ experience in sustainable investing, in 2020, UBS made sustainable investments its preferred solution for wealth management clients to invest globally.

In 2021, UBS found its reason for being and defined its purpose statement “Reimagining the power of investing. Connecting people for a better world”, putting sustainability at the core of its purpose. Because technology is a passion point for many of HNWIs, UBS’s intention was to help investors make concrete changes to their portfolios by aligning their investments to their values and passions (technology specifically) and help them drive sustainable incomes.

UBS owns a unique position in the saturated space of sustainable investing because technology-related communications for sustainable investing is not yet a crowded space among the brand’s competitors.
Therefore, the challenge was to show that investing in technology that can solve sustainable challenges is possible without having to compromise returns.

At The New York Times, we help people understand the world, including how to live in it and make an impact on the environment. Our content reflects our dedication and our belief that sustainability must be top on our list of priorities of news coverage. Everyday we invest in putting the complexity of climate change at the forefront of our readers’ minds and conversation. In fact in 2021, we published 5,146 stories with “climate” in the headline.

Climate is deeply intertwined with The New York Times’ pursuit of the truth. And the truth is that climate isn’t an isolated issue — it’s intimately interconnected to a range of issues including business, politics and technology. As technology has the power to change the world for the better, we positioned UBS as a solution for investment in technology that is critical to building a more sustainable future.

The Content Solution

We based our creative approach on the insight that technology is only as good as the investment it receives. The New York Times’ global business readers agree that sustainable investing is now more important than ever and they like to read about new trends in technology to take action. That’s why The New York Times custom content team, T Brand Studio, and UBS partnered to build a powerful 360 degree program to captivate– and inspire – UBS’s target audience of high-net-worth individuals, affluent millennials and HENRYs (High Earning Not Rich Yet).

To reach them, we created a multilayered concept in which T Brand hosted and moderated a live, virtual roundtable of three sustainability experts, accessible by invitation only. The meeting was closed off and all the insights, relevant to the target audience, were extracted from that two-hour conversation. The three sustainably minded entrepreneurs who we selected to speak on the panel were part of UBS’s Global Visionaries program — an accelerator for innovators with ideas that would help make tangible changes to the world: Osnat Michaeli, co-founder of the innovative vertical farm company Infarm; Ginger Krieg Dosier, the C.E.O. of Biomason (a company on a quest to remove 25 percent of carbon emissions from the global concrete industry by 2030); and Marc Zornes, a co-founder of the food waste management company Winnow.

The roundtable was animated and exciting, highlighting the many ways cooperation is crucial to moving the sustainability agenda forward — scientists working with governments, and inventors and entrepreneurs working with powerful companies like UBS — to connect like-minded people, garner the public’s support and, ultimately, turn the climate crisis around.

To ensure that the roundtable conversation was seen and shared with UBS’s wider target audience, we summarized the roundtable conversation and highlighted the most insightful and interesting takeaways for our audience. But we didn’t just keep it as a long-form article – we used a realistic, sketch-illustration style to capture their faces from the panel and translate them on the page. To further add to the real-time feel of the feature, we animated these illustrations to give a sense of movement, conversation and interaction.

To ensure we had a visible link to UBS offerings, we included a step-by-step “Sustainable Investment Guide” that provides actionable information for prospective investors who want to start a sustainable investment portfolio.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

The New York Times reaches UBS’s target audience: HNWIs (16 million), Affluent Millennials (9 million), HENRYs (5 million) with an investor mindset and a passion for technology. To engage our highly influential leaders with the ability to drive change and quite a short attention span, our media strategy turned every platform of the NYT into a “corner for conversation.”

To show how UBS could help, we positioned the campaign across The New York Times’s most immediate HNWIs environments and touchpoints in a dynamic and engaging way via custom Paid Post storytelling content and strategic display amplification to reach the New York Times’s readers in key contextually relevant sections.
Across sections of the website, our team created a custom, wide and impactful slideshow/carousel format (known as the FlexXL unit) offering a creative snapshot of the Paid Post content directly in our users’ news feed. The units featured bios and quotes from each of our three panelists highlighting the urgency to consider one’s sustainable investment portfolio.

Overall, we leveraged The New York Times’s unique Cost-Per-View model guaranteeing views and engagement with our content, which prioritizes quality engagement at scale using a combination of native on-site and social traffic drivers. This campaign is managed by our T Brand Studio dedicated audience development team who continually optimizes towards the best-performing placements and editorial sections, maximizing the reach and impact of our partnership.
In our strategic media amplification, our high-impact proprietary responsive display units used first party targeting to reach HNWIs, C-Suites & Executives Finance DMs Sustainable Investors based in the US. We decided to double down on our largest visual canvases: the Flex XL – which we knew would work because in 2020, UBS’s FlexXL formats drove incredible CTRs of 0.48%, 2.81x times above the campaign average.

We also highlighted the panelists’ thoughts and comments in our international print edition using a full page color format. Running on November 9th to coincide with COP26 in Glasgow and The New York Times Climate Hub event, this impactful print story underlined UBS’s commitment to sustainable investment and the urgency for investors to match their values with their portfolios, and also included a traffic driver link back to the digital Paid Post content on to help readers complete the full customer journey.

The Result

The partnership delivered nearly 43 million impressions across display media and the paid post promotion, greatly extending the reach of the campaign. UBS’ target audience were highly engaged with the article, spending an average active engaged time of almost 2 minutes, significantly exceeding the NYT benchmark. The partnership not only exceeded NYT benchmarks but succeeded in positioning UBS as a thought-leader in the space of sustainable investing, focusing on technology as a driver of sustainable growth. Exposure to the branded content piece led readers to become more favorable toward UBS, forming positive opinions around the brand and its commitment around innovation and tackling the climate crisis. Moreover, 80% of people who read this article indicated they would take key actions around the brand such as visit the UBS website and talk about the brand with their friends and family.