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New FT campaign pushes online growth

The Financial Times is extending its long-running “We live in Financial Times” campaign with new work from DDB London.

The latest leg of the campaign, set to debut globally May 4, is designed to drive global executives to FT.com. Creative for the campaign includes print ads, online ads and some out-of-home ads showing bad search results for key business terms on other sites, driving home the idea that time-starved execs should go directly to FT.com to find exactly what they’re looking for.

“We had been wanting to do more in terms of promoting FT.com, and this seemed a particularly appropriate time to do it because our target audience is these global business executives who are very time-pressured,” said Elissa Tomasetti, VP of marketing for Financial Times. “Especially in the middle of difficult economic times, they are more in need of a truly reliable resource to get their global business analysis, and we wanted to reinforce that with a campaign which shows that there are hundreds of millions of sites out there, but FT.com is the place to go.”

The site’s URL is included in the ads, and visitors to the site receive a pitch to register after viewing three stories. They are asked to subscribe after viewing 10 stories on the site.

“We believe in people getting to sample the content and having the content for free initially because that’s what drives engagement and usage,” Tomasetti explained. “What we see is that, in fact, once people have sampled the FT they do come back, they do register, and they move through this model to subscription.”  

“We live in Financial Times” debuted in 2007. DDB London has been the creative agency since the start. The campaign has been successful for both the print product and the site: March ABC audits show that unique users of the site have gone up 61% over the past year, and the site now has more than 1.2 million registered users. Online subscriptions have grown 9% since last year, and are now close to 110,000.

Time, Fortune, The Economist and The Week will carry the ads in print and on their Web sites.

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