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The Truth is Hard to Find - Bryan Denton

basics
Industry: Media & Publishing
Media:TV & Cinema
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
BriefExplanation
For years The New York Times’s business model had been under threat, with declining ad revenue and stagnating print subscriptions in an age when so many other sources of digital “news” are available for free. A contentious 2016 presidential election created even more pressure, compounded by a new commander-in-chief who was popularizing terms like “fake news” and encouraging citizens to lose trust in the authenticity of mainstream media. Something had to be done. The New York Times needed to reaffirm its mission and role in today’s unique political and technological landscape. The resulting brand campaign, its first in over a decade, utilized a bold and ownable creative idea combined with an impact-driven media strategy that placed the campaign message in buzzworthy, politically charged environments. The TV creative idea challenged consumers to reevaluate their relationship with truth through the overused expression “the truth is,” a phrase mostly used to validate subjective opinions rather than objective facts. The bold and simplistic nature of the type-based film stayed true to the brand while breaking through the noise in the real and digital world. We then leveraged Times-owned platforms across digital, social and print, as well as attention-grabbing OOH in high-impact environments across the country, in order to sustain dialogue. The second phase showcased the extraordinary lengths to which The Times’ on-the-ground journalists go in pursuit of the truth and the commitment, resources and expertise it takes to cover world events. We identified key topics that were high on the cultural and news agenda and, working with Darren Aronofsky, used exclusive, never-before-seen pictures and an immersive audio treatment to create films that put viewers in the shoes of The Times’s journalists around the world. Everything shown, including the sound, was factual and captured by journalists at the location of the story. Ultimately, viewers were left not only with a renewed appreciation of the job The Times’s journalists do but also with a stark reminder of what their support for independent journalism really means. The campaign was applauded and hailed as immensely powerful by consumers and journalists alike and became part of the cultural zeitgeist: the film was parodied by high-profile late-night hosts, including Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert, and print ads were shared proudly by consumers on social media. The campaign successfully shifted perception in key attributes related to willingness to pay, and Q1 became the best quarter for subscriber growth in The Times’s history. By Q2 The New York Times passed a milestone of 2M digital-only news subscribers—a first by any news organization.
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awards
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2018
Bronze Creative Effectiveness
Single Country Creative Effectiveness
The One Show 2018
Merit Film
Online Films & Video / Long Form - Single
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