Overview of this campaign
The Evening Standard’s annual list of ‘influentials’ has become the definitive guide to the 1000 individuals who at that moment in time give direction to the UK’s capital city. Yet what began life as a chance to recognise excellence and inspiration is now a major news item in its own right. In 2015, the Standard’s index, branded the ‘Progress 1000’, reached new heights with a celebratory event to accompany the list's launch.
The Standard is London’s most wide-reaching print media platform, with a daily print-run of more than 900,000. With an ever-growing digital reach too, the paper is read in one format or another by over 2million people every day. With that level of audience, the Standard is more than just a reporter of London’s events; it is part of the city’s fabric. But it has to work hard to maintain that position. The Progress 1000 is a key part of the process.
By curating an annual list of London’s influentials, the Standard both underscores its significance as a determiner of the city’s trends and direction, while also showing its support of those who seek to push London forward. This chimes with the stated aims of the Standard's proprietor, Evgeny Lebedev, and his father Alexander. When the Lebedevs purchased the title seven years ago they made clear that they wished it to be more celebratory of London's achievements.
Turning the Progress 1000 into an event ensures it is more than simply another list of great and good: it becomes a story in its own right, delivering interesting coverage across multiple platforms. We engage our audience while simultaneously placing the Standard’s brand front and centre.
Standard editor Sarah Sands summed up the Progress 1000 at the launch party thus: “Tonight we celebrate progress, the impulse which makes a city world class. Our progress makers are the people who keep London on the move today and have a vision of how we stay out in front tomorrow.”
Results for this campaign
The full Progress 1000 list was only unveiled at the party on 16 September but in the month leading up to it the Evening Standard dedicated considerable coverage to the Londoners who had made it into the elite. We also announced details about the Progress 1000 party at which the full list was to be revealed. Bit by bit we ramped up excitement about the event, revealing: the location (the nearly-complete Crossrail station at Canary Wharf, especially chosen to fit the theme of progress); the guest-list (politicians, stars or stage and screen, top entrepreneurs); the entertainment (up and coming singer Ella Eyre).
The number attending the launch surpassed a thousand, and included most of those on the list. As guests mingled the Standard’s editor announced the Progress 1000’s most influential Londoner. At this juncture, the names of the Progress 1000 were projected onto the wall of the event space.
A 150-page, full-colour,book of the Progress 1000 was distributed as guests departed. It had a total print run of 20,000 and was delivered by hand to key London postcodes and institutions. The book was also published as a digital pdf replica and as a special interactive app for mobile as well as tablet. Reports of the event in the next day’s Evening Standard were enhanced with video footage at standard.co.uk. There was also extensive coverage on the Standard’s sister TV channel, London Live.
The value for corporate partners of the event is significant. In 2015 the Progress 1000 had three headline sponsors: Canary Wharf Group, Citi and Crossrail. The book featuring the list of leading Londoners was sponsored separately by house builder Berkeley Group. Sponsors were able to access considerable branding opportunities and were mentioned in connection with the event on numerous occasions in print and online, as well as on London Live and many third party media.