Winner 2017




Lead Agency


Contributing Company



The Challenge

In 2008 the global economy faced its most dangerous crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. UBS restructured and, in a bid to stand apart from their competition, repositioned as ‘modern’, ‘human’ and ‘different’.

Our challenge was to convince a risk adverse Swiss bank that in order to truly stand out as ‘different’ they couldn’t continue to act like a traditional Swiss bank. They needed to be more radical in their communications approach if
they were to attract attention amongst their time poor audience.

The first phase of our approach was a large scale media campaign to ensure we reached our elusive and niche audience effectively. Further still, our audience is notoriously time poor, we needed to speak to them when they were
receptive to our messaging and the content was compelling enough for UBS’ new Brand values to come across.

The second phase focused on the content to connect with the audience. We partnered with two publishers (Bloomberg and The New York Times) to create content aligned with these Brand values packaged in a way that our audience would want to consume in environments they were already spending time.
Additionally, UBS partnered with German broadcaster Frank Elstner to capture and record in video the thinking within the Economic Sciences. From these video assets, UBS’ created Nobel Perspectives.

We needed all activations to be executed in a relevant way, to a contemporary audience and we needed to connect them to a service area of the bank.
Perception of the new values and high levels of engagement with the media campaign were our key goals.

The Strategy

We chose to move away from the traditional media approach to financial services advertising due to over saturation. Our approach focused on reaching
our users on channels they preferred with relevant creative messaging to reflect on important parts of their lives through ‘Life Questions’.

We posed questions that spanned different life-stage moments and that talk about both financial and non-financial challenges. These questions had
obvious and not so obvious financial implications and were designed to provoke curiosity to find out more and to stimulate conversation.
Bespoke research was commissioned and combined with research from Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s team giving us invaluable information into the
concerns of our audience – from Succession planning to familial inheritance and the global economy.

We uncovered unique insights that helped inform our planning. For example we prioritized distribution of content via Bloomberg on private jets and 1st
class flights as the Bloomberg Billionaires team discovered this was a rare time when our audience consumed content unrelated to their daily tasks.

We invested 71% our budget into digital to reflect the progressive habits of our audience. Digital channels also allowed us to add more depth and precision, ensuring that the communications didn’t remain at the 1,000 foot view. Digital media provided more information and brought people back to a content-rich website intended to show the brand’s commitment to finding answers.

If Brand perception was the objective, then high levels of engagement were our goal ensuring our messaging was received. This would need to be achieved by high dwell time with our messaging and content in environments the audience were already spending time.

Content Approach:
We selected partners whose dwell time benchmarks for content were high versus industry standards indicating that content on platform was being
enjoyed, even in longer formats. We wanted to ensure significant engagement therefore used custom content platforms. We aligned the audience insights we gained from research with three main UBS content pillars to achieve their communication objectives:
Humanise: the brand by posing questions that spanned different life-stage moments (Life Questions) and that talk about both financial and non-financial
Differentiate: UBS are proud of their extensive network of economists that act as an integral asset to their client offering. For this reason, we aligned with
UBS Nobel Perspectives to celebrate economists by translating the studies of Nobel Laureates into a modern day relevance.
Modernise: the brand leveraging our partner’s reputations through thought leadership.

The Implementation

The campaign focused on 6 markets (UK, Germany, Switzerland, US, Hong Kong and Singapore). Launching with a 360 integrated media plan across digital display, video, search, social, print, TV, and OOH.

To stretch our budget we needed to be smart and efficient in the way we differentiated UBS from its competitors. To reduce wastage we focused on highly targeted media, investing 70% of our budget in Digital across display, mobile, video, search and social. Our planning principle was to use digital and data to deliver personal brand messages to the right audiences and create
the perception that ‘‘UBS is the brand for me’’. Digital channels allowed us to continue a rich dialogue between UBS and their audience.

We used multiple, real time, data sources to define people’s interests and locations and used this to inform our targeting. For example, we used specific targeting to only five star hotels thereby cutting wastage. We also used sequential messaging across devices to ensure people accessing UBS content on their mobile and tablet didn’t receive the same creative message twice.
A content calendar on extended our activity across the year and helped build our ‘thought leader’ reputation. In partnership with Bloomberg, we produced a 6 part TV series (with an extension onto that sought to understand the challenges facing our world using the latest Bloomberg data and analysis titled Forward Thinking.
The series discussed controversial topics such as ‘March of the Machines’ and ‘A $28 Trillion Challenge to Smash the Glass Ceiling’ etc.

Additionally, we commissioned a tactical piece of content with The New York Times celebrating Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon and the topic of Robotics, a long term investment theme of UBS. Partnering with the award-winning chat-bot Rose, a state of the art machine-learning chat-bot provided exclusively for this piece. Rose speaks to the audience about whatever they want
(within reason) but encourages the exploration of AI further by delving deeper into the content. The chat-bot is followed by an original five-chapter New York Times-ian article and a short documentary-style video looking into the world of Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro (a leading humanoid designer from Osaka, Japan).

As the campaign progressed, we optimized the campaign toward the best performing partners at driving visits to the UBS Microsite and content that lead to engagements. This improved the overall campaign efficiency and meant we have continued to deliver against UBS’s initial Brand objectives.

The Result

Since the campaign launched proud UBS employees and clients have taken the time to write and say how they feel understood by the bank – more remarkably CMO’s of major competitors and CEO’s of International Media Outlets have commented positively about its impact.
• Journalists wrote over 1,000 articles creating over 450 million PR and advertising impressions.
• More than 2.2 million people visited the UBS site to find out more about the campaign.
• 1.9 million social engagements were created as people like, shared and talked about the campaign.
• 26.9 million people watched a UBS Brand video.
• The UBS and Bloomberg Media partnership delivered over 22 million impressions with people reading over 295k pages and spending an average of 2:41 mins per page – (above Bloomberg benchmarks 2:30mins).
• And people engaged with our content – we had an average click through rate for our videos of 4 times the sector average and Display generated CTR rate ten times the category average
• On the NYT the campaign surpassed the target reach (100,000 visits) achieving 217,593 visits for the 3-month live period, exceeding all expectations.
• Dwell time reached 1.24 mins (NYT benchmark 1.21mins) and the average video completion rate was 52% (surpassing NYT average 38%) demonstrating our audience’s attention was captured by the content.
• There were 12,292 Social engagements and 133,696 social referrals, proving that our discerning audience were so compelled by the experience, that they wished to share it with their own followers.