BlackRock iShares Promo, Case study GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY by MEC New York

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Industry Investments
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency MEC New York
Released July 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Integrated Media
Advertiser: BLACKROCK
Product/Service: ISHARES GOLD FUND
Date of First Appearance: Jul 1 2010
Entrant Company: MEC, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Account Director: Megan Jones (MEC)
Communications Manager: Liana Tallarico (MEC)
Communications Analyst: Jamie Zimmerman (MEC)
Media Supervisor, Social: Matt Haynes (MEC)
Managing Director, Print: Kelly Foster (MEC)
Print Manager: Iva Tchomakova (MEC)
Account Director, Digital: Suzy Worsham (MEC)
Associate Media Director, Digital: Jennifer Ziman (MEC)
Junior Media Planner, Digital: Nancy Toan (MEC)
Associate Director, Search: Derek Ferguson (MEC)
Search Manager: May Badra (MEC)
Search Specialist: Tim Niehoff (MEC)
Outdoor Specialist - Kinetic: Ryan McPhail (MEC)
Account Director: Maya Cody (MEC)
Vice President, Media Planning and Buying: Matt Van Dalsem (BlackRock (iShares))
Vice President, Media Planning and Buying: Lee Engel (BlackRock (iShares))
Director, Global Media: Gordy Abel (BlackRock (iShares))
Account Director: Eric Lachter (McCann)
Media placement: Print-Newspaper - Barron's, Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal - July 1, 2010
Media placement: Print-Trade Magazines - Active Trader, Bull & Bear, CFA Institute Magazine, ETFR, Financial Advisor, Fin - August 2010
Media placement: Print-Consumer Magazines - Fortune, The Week, The Economist - August 2010
Media placement: Display - Barrons,,, FundFire, Ignites, Index Universe, Inve - July 1, 2010
Media placement: Mobile - Bloomberg - July 1, 2010
Media placement: Search - Google, Yahoo, Bing, Marchex - July 1, 2010 - September 2010
Media placement: Social - Twitter, Facebook, - September 2010
Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In late Q2 of 2010, the collision of three market forces sparked an unprecedented opportunity for the Gold Exchange Traded Fund (ticker symbol: IAU):
1) Gold had become one of the strongest options for investors looking to combat inflation and lingering market volatility. This generated an insatiable appetite among investors for any news or opportunities regarding gold.
2) iShares had redesigned its IAU product and lowered its price, which greatly strengthened its position in the marketplace.
3) iShares had just one primary competitor to its IAU product – State Street’s SPDR GLD.
We were challenged to develop a $3 million IAU media plan in 30 days, targeting financial professionals and end investors. We built an integrated plan that leveraged the targets' hunger for gold in the media by owning and aligning IAU with gold-related content to generate immediate impact and awareness and shift momentum away from State Street’s offering.
Creative Execution
The financial climate required that we act quickly. We activated news triggers with print publishers to increase creative and editorial alignment for all things gold. We deployed search competitive monitoring to ensure gold keywords outperformed competitors. Display advertising focused on maximizing our share of voice across all relevant gold-related content.
We focused on New York City as the “financial capital of the world.” We placed an IAU insert into the New York editions of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and placed advertising messages in elevators at top financial firms and in front of commuters at Grand Central Station.
All efforts focused on iShares’ sponsorship of the closing bell for the NYSE, which was broadcast live through Facebook and Twitter feeds. Followers could track an actual gold bar as it travelled to the NYSE, listen to live interviews from top iShares executives, and watch live footage of the closing bell.
Results and Effectiveness
Our quick-to-market integrated plan for iShares IAU succeeded in growing new business and increasing shares in a competitive marketplace:
• During the campaign, iShares IAU product gained $1.4 billion in net new business (NNB), while State Street’s GLD lost $1.5 billion. As a result, 75% of all flows to Gold ETFs went to iShares
• Print response was strong, with high intent-to-act scores.
• Online display efforts saw +20% click-thru-rate, +13% activities rate, and +24 percent in registrations
• Social media saw +90% in post volume.
• iShares continues to dedicate energy to its social footprint through Facebook, Twitter, and