The New York Times’ Truth Is campaign by Droga5 has been remarkable since its launch in 2017, both its scope and its creativity. It has won awards and hopefully done a lot to separate the publication from actual fake news (not Trump’s version of fake news, which amounts to anything with which he disagrees).
The campaign has now taken a detour – in three ways. Firstly, while it uses real footage like its predecessors, the new campaign focuses on The New York Times’ journalists, of which there are more than 1,700. 30 journalists are featured in the campaign – from news and Opinion, including reporters, video journalists, editors, Opinion writers, bureau chiefs, photojournalists and graphics directors. Secondly, it uses first-person, on-the-ground footage shot from Times journalists’ phones. Thirdly, it is playing out on TikTok, as well as more traditional media such as digital, online video, social media, display and print.
The new campaign is called The Truth Takes a Journalist. https://www.nytimes.com/subscription/truth/truth-takes-a-journalist Its 75-second hero film threads footage by New York Times reporters taken on the job with voiceover clips in which journalists describe what inspires them. In the 30-second cutdown, the first of these is, “I love finding … things that other people don’t want me to know.” The clips are connected with the word, “by”, which is used to name the journalist behind every NYT story. The final line in the spots reads, The truth takes a journalist.
Amy Weisenbach, senior vice president and head of marketing for The New York Times Company, stated, “This campaign celebrates the journalists who create the stories that help our readers understand the world. The focus on the word ‘by’ personalises who is behind the bylines readers see in The Times every day. These journalists are real people with passion for what they do, and they play a critical role in the pursuit of truth.”
The four TikTok clips follow the platform’s style. One features journalist, Priya Krishna, exploring the popularity of MREs, (ready-to-eat meals) during the pandemic. In another, Andes bureau chief, Julie Turkewitz, shows how inequities in Latin America come into sharp relief during the pandemic.
The aim of these is to feature reporting relatable to the TikTok audience while underlining the dedication and effort it takes to create stories for the NYT.
The campaign was created by Droga5 and the Times’ in-house team, produced by Somesuch, with editing by Final Cut. The hero commercial was directed by Somesuch director, Camille Sommers-Valli. That spot will run on linear and streaming TV in the US as well as on YouTube. The full campaign includes audio ads on Spotify and Stitcher, DOOH in New York City subway stations, and selected work on NYT’s platforms.