Did their wires connect or get tangled?

The Economist magazine just launched a new campaign in the UK. 

Through research, they determined that because of the rise in the number of people going on to university, there are now over 3 million people in the UK whose interest in world affairs, travel, news and politics suggests an unconscious affinity with what The Economist reports on every week. The Economist describes these people as the “intellectually curious.”

So their new "Red Wires" campaign uses the image of a wire-jumper walking through a city on a series of red wires and the tagline “Let your mind wander” as a metaphor for the inherent pleasure in connecting different ideas, and how this is reflected in the wide-range news and analysis available in a copy of The Economist.

Watch the video below (e-mail subscribers click here) and then tell me….do you think they successfully delivered their message or did they get their wires crossed?

The ad began showing in movie theatres on July 1 and will also be used on broadcast TV.

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8 comments on “Did their wires connect or get tangled?

  1. In my humble opinion, the basic creative concept is sound…except for the sound. The unclear audio separates the viewer from the impact of the message. The good part is that the Audio requires an inexpensive fix, given the high production standard of the video portion. I say this, having come from 100 years 🙂 in the video, film and photography industry.

    Please take a look at this 6 min. video


    BTW: note the music copyright at the end. Many thanks to Paul Micich and WORLD PORT MUSIC.

  2. David Zinger says:

    I liked the images a lot but not sure I made the connection to read The Economist. It made me think more of staying balanced while watching where I am going as I reach new heights.

  3. Sherrie says:

    I’d say they totally missed it – even with the intro from the blog post I still couldn’t make the connection.

  4. I say they missed the mark and got their wires crossed. If I hadnt read your email first, I would watch that and really be confused about the msg. Having known their intent through your announcement, I think they chose something difficult and scary (balancing on a high wire) to demonstrate intellectual curiosity… Alternatively a 3D adventure or matrix type of adventure where the person also looks like they are having fun (not like this guy) could connote diverse options matched with ease-simplicity of reading their paper… How about jumping into the Economist as its own 3D adventure???…

  5. I’d say they’ve got their wires crossed – it is a well shot ad, but ultimately isn’t “letting your mind wander” about having total freedom and be able to choose your own path – being stuck on a wire gives the opposite impression – you’ve got to take the path they give you. A more apt slogan would have been “Let us do the thinking for you.. saves you the hassle!”

  6. Thanks everyone. I have to agree — somehow I think the message gets lost. It’s visually interesting but I wouldn’t have made the connection had I not received the background information.

    It feels more like an image ad than a call to action piece.


  7. Karin H says:

    Watched the video here first, then last week on TV (in the UK). Because I was ‘forewarned’ I paid more attention than I would normally do (although I love watching commercials, for professional reasons). Can’t say it made me want to go out a buy The Economist.

    Then yesterday an email landed in my inbox addressed to the owner of the Kiss Business blog (me). From ‘goviral’ marketing company about the video for The Economost (which as the email stated I would surely know based on the content of my blog – eh?) and would I like to make money by posting the video on there?

    IMHO not the most eloquent way to try to make something ‘go-viral’. No introduction what so ever, so thanks but no thanks.

    Will this go viral? If they had approached me beforehand with interesting information that would make me look forward to the launch of the video, yes perhaps then a ‘buzz’ would have been more likely.

    Now, no thanks. Makes you wonder too why the company has named itself ‘go-viral’. Someone’s missing the plot here and I don’t think it’s me 😉

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business – writing for and about small businesses, not big economical issues).

  8. Tom Porter says:

    While the visual elements are compelling this ad reminds me of the adage “You can dress a bear in a bikini and get the consumer’s attention”. I honestly don’t understand the connection to the product and doubt very seriously if, after viewing the commercial, anybody could/would recall the sponsor.

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