Case Study

Skoda – The Alternative Rich List

The Skoda Alternative Rich List is the feel-good job of the year for Bridge Studio. The concept is beguilingly simple, and so successful that after just two years, it’s clear that it is here to stay.

Skoda believes life is all about being “Driven by something different”. So when the media agency PHD challenged us to come up with a campaign that would demonstrate this, and help unlock growth within the brand, we saw an opportunity to disrupt a jewel in The Sunday Times crown: the Rich List.

The 2017 Alternative Rich List made a huge impact and has won two media awards. We believe the 2018 list is even better. At such a turbulent and challenging time for the UK, the Alternative Rich List felt even more relevant this year. It is a good time to celebrate those of us who are living the kind of lives that make the world a better place.

The AEM process

The Sunday Times has owned the definitive Rich List in the UK for more than a quarter of a century. Our audience research pinpointed how readers of The Sunday Times love the Rich List – but that they also yearn for something more. Our emotional profile showed that they look for content that adds to knowledge, provides inspiration and creates pride. This to us seemed at odds with the Rich List – it’s hard to be proud of another person’s wealth.

The idea

In partnership with Skoda, we decided to showcase individuals who lead extraordinary, important and fulfilling lives. Rather than measuring people simply on material wealth, our unique Alternative Rich List celebrates people that are motivated by something beyond money, in ways that are impossible to put a price on.

Obviously the qualities we were looking for – such as integrity, wisdom, courage, self fulfilment and altruism can not be measured by the yard or bucketful. So to compile the list, we formed a panel of judges, who each embody the qualities we are looking for, to debate a selection of nominees and settle on a final list.

Our judges for 2018: Sally Phillips, actress and disability campaigner; Trevor Phillips, broadcaster and equality campaigner; Levison Wood, author and explorer; Kanya King, music entrepreneur and visionary founder of the MOBOs; and Kirsten Stagg, head of marketing for Skoda UK.

The list was selected during a lively and challenging judging day under the direction of our moderator Stig Abell, editor of The Times Literary Supplement and an Alternative Rich List judge in 2017.

The list included a diverse range of people, such as Helen Sharman, Britain’s first astronaut, North Korean refugee and campaigner Jihyun Park, shepherd and environmentalist James Rebanks, writer and social rapper Dr Martin Glynn and the first black woman to win the Turner Prize Lubaina Himid, who was also the oldest winner. New to the list, for 2018, we acknowledged what a landmark year this has been for women across the globe by including a special award, Revolution for Women, for the nominees who had done the most to advance the cause of women’s equality.

Abell says: “We’ve put together a list that showcases the best of human endeavour, intrinsic value, and the ability of people to influence those around them. We’ve looked at the positive impact that people can make – and that’s a lovely thing.”

The Alternative Rich List – changing the way we value life, one story at a time.

The results

This year’s Alternative Rich List reached a bigger audience than ever. Over 4.5 million people saw the campaign in print, online, radio, or via social, doubling 2017’s total audience. And the campaign proved to be engaging and inspiring for that audience: average dwell time for our videos was 3mins 33secs.

The campaign changed the way our audiences view Skoda too: positive perceptions of the Skoda brand increased by an astonishing 187% among those who recalled seeing the campaign. Over two-thirds of readers said they see Skoda as a brand with ‘independent spirit’ – an uplift of 49% – while almost half said that Skoda is an inspirational brand. Over 20% of readers polled said they had looked for further information about Skoda and its model range.



  • 4.5m reach in print, radio, online and social
  • 187% increase in positive perception of Skoda
  • 1in 5 readers surveyed would consider a Skoda for their next vehicle