Media Financial Times News

The Financial Times runs reader testimony videos on 'premium' websites to reinforce its global community


By John McCarthy | Media editor

March 23, 2017 | 4 min read

The Financial Times has launched a series championing a range of global FT readers, underlining the intrinsic value of its premium content while motioning at its global outlook.

Financial Times

Financial Times readers videos

A seven-part series, produced by film director Felipe P. Soares, stars an LA economist, a corporate comms Londoner, a law consultant from Singapore and an MIT professor in the US.

It documents the publication’s international premium appeal positioning it above the mass of quick-fire and free-to-access content that’s allegedly flooding the market and seizing all-important viewer retention.

On the video shorts, Darcy Keller, chief communications and marketing officer of the FT, told The Drum that the publication keeps a close eye on its readers, both, "anecdotally and in surveys". The general impression is that the FT is "more than a paper they read and subscribe to, it’s part of their identity, it says something about them".

The videos were aligned to "convey that sense of community," underlining that its readers who take part in the global conversation. Keller added: "Our audience is the greatest reflection of our brand."

In the creation of the series, the publication put out a casting call for people who love and want to talk about the FT; their location, occupation and the story that they could tell all factored into the casting decision. "There were thousands of entries, we were very spoiled for choice. There's much more we can bring to life, there's a great roster of people that want to engage in this product, so there’s good scope to do more."

It was vital to capture authentic and unscripted testimonies from the campaign's contributors. The video team spent a day with each of the four, filming until they delivered authentic opinions that could be used to build the videos.

The integrated campaign will touch down across TV and online, as per TV planning and buying agency Guerillascope’s strategy.

"We targeted sites with a global professional audience and a premium brand, we were also looking at specific markets, with London and more to come in the US," said Keller. As such, Sky News, Channel 4, Discovery, National Geographic, Bloomberg TV, BBC Online, Monocle’s film section, and Taxi TV in London, will be among the channels hosting the films.

On its commitment to underlining its premium proposition amid a sea of free content, Keller stated that a news brand must have a point: "There’s a lot of content and noise out there, if you as a brand don’t know what makes you unique, you're in trouble.

"For the FT, global is in our DNA, we’ve been covering international news for 50 years and distributing internationally for 40, before anyone else was doing it. Another point of distinction, is the FT's commitment to quality and integrity, which is easy to say, not easy to prove. We have a proven reputation built by delivering over many years (more than a century).

"We’re proud of our legacy and reputation."

The work picks up from the publication’s ‘Changed the World’ out of home campaign, which trumpets the FT’s insights in Heathrow Terminal 5 through JCDecaux, whereas Exterion Media delivered London’s Canary Wharf and the London Underground, it similarly looked to embrace an audience hungry for indepth analysis.

On the advertising front, the FT has had considerable success urging advertisers to consider the importance of context in their online ads, it claims low-yield, high volume cookie chasing placements are being usurped by its approach: "I think we and the premium segment have always argued the case for the power of the environment and the power of brand association," argued global advertising sales and strategy director Dom Good earlier this week.

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