Cannes Lions

Life Needs Truth

DROGA5, PART OF ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, New York / THE NEW YORK TIMES / 2021

Film
Film
Supporting Images

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The campaign launched at a tumultuous time in American history: during the height of the pandemic, in the midst of Black Lives Matter protests and shortly before a critical US election. It was a year like no other and a time when life itself had come into sharp focus, and people were turning to Times journalism to help them navigate their chaotic everyday lives.

When understanding the world had never been more essential, the power of original, quality, independent journalism to help people cope became evident. This insight led to “Life Needs Truth,” a new campaign for The New York Times that showed Times journalism as a critical part of the fabric of life.

Idea

The “Life Needs Truth” campaign shows that for every part of our chaotic and upended lives, there is a piece of New York Times journalism that helps bring clarity and guidance to it. We wrote a five-verse visual poem, built with words from Times reporting, to capture the feeling of living in America in 2020. The rhythm of the poem came to life without any VO or narration—the campaign reflected the relationship people have with The Times as they use it in their everyday lives.

Strategy

Life as we knew it began to change in more ways than one and suddenly even doing simple tasks posed new questions that we never had to consider. Should we wear a mask… or two? Would we ever be able to hug our grandparents again? What to do with another quiet night at home, when you live alone? These were the questions and curiosities that crept in as the world shifted daily. We all needed help answering these big and small questions and it was in this moment that we saw the opportunity to show our readers the expansiveness of our journalism.

Our aim was to get these curious readers to see our journalism as truly indispensable, with relevance and utility for every part of their lives. Whether it’s exploring what to cook for dinner or examining the 400-year legacy of slavery in the United States, New York Times journalism

Execution

Our “Life Needs Truth” campaign launched on August 19, 2020. Our :60s and :30s films ran across TV, DRTV and OTT platforms in rotation through the end of 2020, for a combined total of 3,123 airings. Social edits ran across Facebook. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Reddit, earning over 540+ impressions. To drive additional engagement with our younger audience, we ran an interactive Snapchat lens in the week leading up to the presidential election which had a reach of 20M+. The long-form “Life Needs Truth” film was housed on YouTube and promoted via PR efforts.

Outcome

We saw significant reach (over 1.25B impressions across TV and digital) without compromising consumer participation (120M video completions and 27M social engagements). On YouTube, the long-form version of the ad garnered 10M views while the paid, unlisted videos had 29.3M.

Designed to be lower-funnel extensions of the "Life Needs Truth" campaign, the "Journalism for Every Part of Life" direct-response ads drove 29% of all digital subscriptions on Facebook and Snapchat out of the 13 creative deliverables in rotation across multiple time periods. From 8/19 to 11/8, these extension ads drove considerably higher conversion, seeing a 43% lift compared to all other creative in rotation.

Our work was consumed at historic levels and helped contribute to substantial business results—at the end of 2020, The Times had 7.5 million total subscriptions across products.

Similar Campaigns

12 items

2 Cannes Lions Awards
The Long Fight

DROGA5, PART OF ACCENTURE INTERACTIVE, New york

The Long Fight

2020, THE NEW YORK TIMES

(opens in a new tab)