Truth is Hard
2018 Winner

Truth is Hard

The New York Times

New York , United States

Category Brand Awareness Campaigns

Overview of this campaign

The goal was to make it clear that The New York Times is a trusted source for independent, deeply reported journalism and to drive subscriptions.

In a world of fake news and misinformation, we wanted to reinforce The New York Times was going to stand for the truth. We wanted to cut through with an elegant reminder that the truth and independent journalism are more important now than ever. We also wanted to communicate that The New York Times was a trusted source in a time when the concept of truth is up for debate.

The campaign aimed to champion what makes The New York Times so unique—the huge amount of resources we put into providing readers independent and reliable journalism, whether those are time, money, people or on-the-ground reporters in more than 150 countries around the world. These are the reasons why The New York Times is the most cited, most discussed on Twitter and most searched on Google news organization. There are more links to The New York Times’ work than the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and The Guardian combined. It’s a source you can rely on—an increasingly rare feat in today’s age.

Through an impact-driven media strategy, we used PR, earned media, digital, social and print, with a full page wrap of the NYT Saturday edition, the most highly circulated of the week. We also ran a bespoke version of our spot during the Oscars, one of the biggest and most politically charged nights in the cultural calendar, and used Twitter to boost our video and fuel the conversation.  

To ensure we translated impact into action, we complemented our awareness-driving activity with conversion-driving banners and targeted social assets encouraging people to subscribe.



Results for this campaign

  • 20M views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter

  • 648 articles and TV segments generating 753M impressions and over $7 million in earned-media value

  • Most talked about and searched for brand during the Oscars

  • Featured as an official Twitter moment

  • Readers displayed our print ads as a stamp of pride at protests and rallies, shared them on social media and framed them in their homes

  • We officially entered the zeitgeist when the campaign’s construct became a canvas for high-profile Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert parodies

  • The subscriber landing page hit the campaign goal in the first 4 days

  • Significantly lifted the conversion rates on subscription-driving banners, generating a 124% uplift with a notable spike of 561% at one point in the campaign

  • Increased our subscriber base by 100% versus the previous 6 weeks after being live just 24 hours

  • February became our single biggest month for subscriptions since the paywall introduction.


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