David Mahaffey, right, of Sullivan and Worcester, presented the Ad Campaign of the Year Award to OppenheimerFunds’ Leonor Palao, AVP of brand and advertising; Tess Skoller and Hailey Brent, managers of brand and advertising.

For the third consecutive year, OppenheimerFunds took home the Ad Campaign of the Year Award at Fund Action‘s 25th annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards on April 12.

The firm was honored for its “Challenge The Index” campaign, a print and digital effort designed to promote the OppenheimerFunds’ brand of active management and its smart-beta strategies.

Launched last April, the campaign included a month-long street exhibit at 67 Wall Street, which drew on images of New York City in the 1950s and scenes from the wilderness.

Pedestrians walking past the Wall Street exhibit saw themselves alongside images of wild animals

Passerby’s found themselves walking alongside avatars of pedestrians as they would have appeared in the 1950s in one version of the exhibit. In the second, which aimed to illustrate a world without borders and the importance of investing internationally, visitors watched moving images of large animals.

The 50’s theme was inspired by the age of the S&P 500, Sharon French, head of beta solutions, previously told FA (FA, 4/5/17).

“While [the S&P 500] is still an important index for all of us, there are certainly smarter ways, more intelligent ways to produce risk-adjusted returns for the investor,” she said, contrasting the firm’s revenue-weighted exchange-traded fund strategy with the index. “It’s all about challenging ourselves as stewards of our client’s assets and advisers also need to challenge the way they’re putting portfolios together by combining active and beta.”

The firm’s website had a similar feel with 1950’s imagery. A video featuring Krishna Memani, Oppenheimer’s chief investment officer, explained the firm’s focus on finding unique opportunities is also part of the push.

Taglines such as “Opportunities can be found in the wildest places,” and “Invest in a middle class that’s charging forward,” accompanied the imagery for the digital and print ads, as did a plug for specific funds.

The ads, developed with McCann, ran across The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Investment News and Morningstar.

The campaign generated 8.9 million engagements via the exhibition and print and digital media ads, according to the firm. There was a 32% uptick in adviser intentions to use OppenheimerFunds’ products, the firm said.

The initiative drove approximately 81% of all traffic to the firm’s product pages, the firm reported. In addition, 51% of those visitors were deeply engaged in the OppenheimerFunds website.

The success of the campaign last year, in addition to new fund launches, prompted the firm to expand it in 2018. OppenheimerFunds rolled out video, digital and print ads in February that juxtapose investment factors with the five senses to promote its multi-factor ETF suite (FA, 2/20).