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- The New York Times is debuting a powerful new ad tied to its groundbreaking reporting on sexual harassment.
- The ad will premiere during the Golden Globe Awards this Sunday.
- The ad seeks to highlight The Times’ pursuit of truth in practice, as well as the type of enduring change it can effect in the world.
After debuting its hair-raising ad series about the value of truth last year, The New York Times is back with another hard-hitting ad.
The Times will take the stage at the Golden Globes this Sunday to unveil the latest iteration of “The Truth is Hard” campaign, highlighting how women’s voices are coming to the fore as it pertains to sexual harassment — and the role that its own reporting has played in it.
The ad is similar in style to last year’s ad, and uses typography and subtle music to drive its message home. It features black text against a white background, with a back-and-forth between the words “He said” and “She said” until the words “She said” take over the screen. The ad then closes with the lines “The Truth has power. The truth will not be threatened. The truth has a voice.”
The latest ad undoubtedly capitalizes on the momentum that has built up around the issue of sexual harassment in Hollywood and beyond, grounded in The Times’ own reporting, including its high-profile coverage of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein brought to light by reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey.
“It is the most consequential reporting we’ve done in a long time, and the impact it has had on society and culture can’t be overstated,” said The New York Times’ SVP and head of brand David Rubin. “So it made a ton of sense to incorporate it, and highlight how The Times brings you a certain quality and understanding of news that you can’t get elsewhere.”
The timing of the ad is no accident either, coinciding with the first major event of Hollywood’s awards season. The campaign will also include print and digital ads focusing on other Times stories moving forward.
“With the award season kicking off on Sunday, the topic will definitely be talked about quite a bit,” said Rubin. “The ad allows us to be a part of that conversation and gives us a way to talk about our role in it.”
Since the first work debuted for The New York Times last February, the focus of The Times’ marketing has shifted from a broad defense of the truth to highlighting the pursuit of truth in practice, as well as the type of enduring change it can effect in the world.
“The brief for the new campaign was to highlight the power of the NYT reporting — to show that the dogged pursuit of the truth can actually change things,” said Leilanni Todd, associate creative director at Droga5, the ad agency that worked with The Times on the ad. “Their coverage of the women who were victims of sexual assault and harassment is the perfect example of timely, brave reporting that shows how independent journalism can hold power to account.”
Ultimately, the goal of the campaign — as is the goal of all of The Times’ marketing — is to highlight the value of paying for the media organization’s reporting. The ad comes on the heels of a banner subscription year for The Times, with subscriptions hitting a record-total of 3.5 million.
“The goal behind all of our marketing is to get people to pay for the news,” said Rubin. “The communication challenge is not about getting people to read our stories, it’s about getting people to understand the need to support them.”
Catch the full ad here.
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