Cannes Lions

The Truth Is

DROGA5, New York / NEW YORK TIMES / 2017


2 Shortlisted
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At a time when it’s too easy to spread fake news and misinformation, we wanted to champion what makes The New York Times so unique—the huge amount of resources they 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.

From this we looked at how overused the expression “the truth is” has become and how often it’s used to validate opinions and subjective statements rather than objective facts.


We kicked off the campaign with an CBS news exclusive in which we established the challenge that journalism faces and outlined the The New York Times’ mission. We supplemented our PR activity by leveraging The New York Times’ owned platforms and running campaign messaging across digital, social and print with a full page wrap of the NYT Saturday edition.

By Sunday, President Trump had tweeted about our campaign, resulting in even more conversation about the NYT across news outlets and social media. This was fuelled later that night during the Oscars when we aired a bespoke version of the spot immediately following Sting’s tribute to journalism.

In the following week, attention-grabbing OOH in contextual environments across the country sustained dialogue about the truth. We continued to adapt creative across social and online displays in reaction to any developing news topics.


-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.

The New York Times added more than 300,000 digital subscriptions in the first three months of 2017, the newspaper said Wednesday, higher than in any other quarter in its history.

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