Cannes Lions

From Here: The New York Times and Verizon

THE NEW YORK TIMES, New York / VERIZON / 2021

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Overview

Background

5G has long held the promise of transforming the way we live, work and communicate. And in the fall of 2020, Verizon announced its Nationwide 5G network alongside the launch of the first 5G iPhone. But leading up to that moment, Verizon had the challenge of establishing leadership in 5G during a time when consumers weren’t sure what 5G was or how it would impact their lives.

The New York Times has long sought to utilize emerging technologies in the service of helping people understand the world. That’s why at CES 2019, Verizon and the New York Times announced a collaboration dedicated to exploring 5G's ability to impact journalism. The goal was to invent new journalistic tools - and put them into practice - to tangibly demonstrate the power of Verizon 5G and Verizon’s 5G leadership to Times readers, to consumers, to business decision-makers, and to the world at large.

Idea

From Here is “an ongoing collection of visually immersive stories that explore how communities are gathering in a time of unprecedented change.” From Here has taken readers to the top of the Grand Tetons and to virtual global Carnival when there was no in-person option.

From Here is the first journalism from the Times newsroom to offer an enhanced experience on 5G, and the first to feature the use of environmental photogrammetry, a built-for-5G technology developed in The 5G Journalism Lab that involves stitching thousands of photographs together as one large 3D model, giving readers the ability to travel in time through NYC’s Chinatown or tour a gamer mansion in Los Angeles as if they were actually there.

To create a direct connection between From Here and Verizon’s 5G leadership, “Behind the 5G Experience” is an unprecedented, highly-visual story of environmental photogrammetry’s invention and its use within From Here.

Strategy

Knowing that 5G carries different weight and meaning to different audiences, we crafted nuanced messages tailored for the contextual environment they’d show up in — reaching a mix of Culture Vultures, Immersive Content Readers, Early Tech Adopters and 5G Device Users — across Times properties.

We also created clear connections between the immersive journalism and Verizon’s role, while also ensuring clarity on the independence of the Times newsroom.

- The From Here collection page visually notes the journalism is designed to be Enhanced in 5G, using Verizon’s 5G logo.

- An editorial “end note” explains storytelling techniques are built to be best-experienced on 5G, linking to the Times Company site for a deeper collaboration story.

- Advertising throughout From Here explains how the collection was made and drives readers to “Behind the 5G Experience.”

Execution

Employing a number of firsts, From Here and Behind the 5G Experience served as the anchor of a holistic marketing campaign, telling the story of Verizon’s 5G leadership. Knowing that 5G carries different weight and meaning to different audiences, we crafted nuanced messages tailored for the contextual environment they’d show up in — reaching a mix of Culture Vultures, Immersive Content Readers, Early Tech Adopters and 5G Device Users — across Times properties.

We also created clear connections between the immersive journalism and Verizon’s role, while also ensuring clarity on the independence of the Times newsroom.

- The From Here collection page visually notes the journalism is designed to be Enhanced in 5G, using Verizon’s 5G logo.

- An editorial “end note” explains storytelling techniques are built to be best-experienced on 5G, linking to the Times Company site for a deeper collaboration story.

- Advertising throughout From Here explains how the collection was made and drives readers to “Behind the 5G Experience.”

Timed with the launch of Apple’s first 5G iPhone and Verizon’s Nationwide 5G rollout, we kicked off our campaign with a high-impact, mobile-first media burst, garnering over 55.6M impressions in a single day with Verizon’s brand creative. A 2nd burst saw 40.7M impressions.

We simultaneously launched From Here and Behind the 5G Experience, and sustained momentum with ongoing publishing, a live virtual event featuring Times & Verizon executives, and an original Verizon podcast. The culmination of activity across The Times’s rich ecosystem in digital, email, print and audio drove high-impact through a multi-faceted narrative focused on how Verizon’s 5G technology can revolutionize the way we all work, live and thrive.

Outcome

The results have been amazing and impactful. We’ve generated incredible awareness with 27M+ digital impressions and counting. Our podcast drove 20K downloads, as well as 11M downloads of our promo spot in a one-day audio takeover. Our native messaging within From Here is outperforming CTR benchmarks 4x, and the branded landing page is outperforming session benchmarks by 2x, creating a +6% lift in readers placing higher value on 5G. This program contributed to a +4% lift in unaided brand awareness (4x benchmark) and +11% lift in brand favorability (1.5x benchmark), while mobile exposure led to a +5% increase in switching intent in our 2020 brand study.

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