Client: Association of Investment Trust Companies
Campaign: Launch of ’its’ PR Team: Lansons Communications
Timescale: Mar-Dec 1999
Budget: pounds 350,000
Investment trusts had been perceived as old-fashioned and out-dated.
Under the initiative of a new director general, the trade body for
investment trusts, the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITS),
decided to rebrand the product as a mainstream vehicle for private
clients’ long-term investment.
To demystify and to relaunch investment trusts as the ’its’ brand,
emphasising them as a cost-effective and diversified way to dabble in
the stock market.
To support AITC’s proposal to raise a marketing budget at a conference
for directors of investment trust and to boost confidence within the
Strategy and Plan
In March 1999 the AITC held its first conference for all of its
directors, attracting 320 board members. They were asked to provide
funding for a comprehensive, long-term marketing drive, and pounds 17.5
million was generated.
The intention behind the PR campaign was to build a foundation on which
the long-term marketing campaign could be built, generating informative
and positive discussion in the media.
Throughout August and September, City and personal finance editors were
notified about the forthcoming campaign. Then, in October, the brand was
officially launched in the nationals and members of the press were
invited to a film preview of East is East, with the ’its’ TV
advertisement being screened before and after the film.
Measurement and Evaluation
The national press ran comment columns on the new ’its’ logo prior to
the brand’s launch, and more than 20 case studies on satisfied investors
Over the course of the year the media coverage generated proved that the
rebranding campaign had reintroduced interest in the topic. Presswatch
analysis measured editorial exposure and revealed that it rose from
three per cent of all financial services press coverage in September, to
eight per cent in October, and then to nine per cent in December.
Evaluation consultants Metrica reported that between January and
December 1999 a total of 1,216 articles were generated, with a peak of
261 in October - the month of the campaign’s launch.
During the course of 1999, the Financial Times , the Daily Telegraph,
Investor’s Chronicle, the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian and Sunday
Business all gave the campaign favourable coverage.
NOP conducted a survey to gauge increases in awareness of and
favourability to investment trusts. The results revealed that in October
general awareness of investment trusts rose by 26 per cent; investors
who were for them rose by 35 per cent; and that investors who believed
investment trusts were accessible increased by 44 per cent.
The campaign managed to transform an investment vehicle considered
something of a dinosaur into a vibrant, ’new’ brand. The media covered
the topic for the entire duration of the campaign, with exposure peaking
at the launch of the ’its’ brand. The PR aspect provided a firm basis
from which to kick off the ad campaign.
As well as raising the substantial marketing and advertising budget, the
AITC conference, also boosted the industry’s confidence in itself.