Trump didn’t start fake news. Nor was he the first to point out its existence. What he did was try to confuse people about whether they were reading fake news – to his advantage. Trump’s not loyal to the truth. And Droga5, rather cleverly, picked up the real news ball and ran with it for client, The New York Times.
Its campaign, The Truth is Hard, began at the end of February. It didn’t get wildly creative to be compelling. It simply became its readers’ ally. By making an honest admission, that there’s a lot of misinformation (for everyone) to sift through, it also created trust.
In Droga5’s next edition of the campaign, the agency focuses on the difficulties journalists face in getting to the truth. And again, it talks about things we know – in this case, the censoring of information by government – but don’t really connect to a newspaper’s merit in uncovering genuine truths.
Moreover, Droga5’s campaign doesn’t try to impress its audience with ideals, like the independence of its thinking or its commitment to anything. Nor does it tell its audience to “pick me”. It impresses, and instils trust, with its actual endeavour. And it allows an actual New York Times journalist, Washington investigations editor, Mark Mazzetti, to take the audience behind the scenes of that endeavour. “The truth is hard to find,” each ad in the campaign concludes simply, by which time the audience feels that The New York Times is particularly good at conquering hard.
It’s a straight-talking campaign for what should be a straight-talking service. That’s an obvious, but very powerful, tool.