Droga5’s First Big Campaign for The New York Times Is All About ‘The Truth’

By Erik Oster 

Back in October, we learned that Droga5 had added The New York Times to its client roster and anticipated its first work would arrive in the coming months.

The agency’s first campaign for the client debuted today. In a word, it deals with “truth.”

Traditional news publications like The New York Times have, of course, struggled to meet revenue goals in recent years despite growing digital subscription totals. But fake news sites’ impact on the 2016 presidential election, the increased popularity of explicitly partisan outlets like Breitbart, and the new president’s unprecedented, oft-repeated scorn for media in general has given them a renewed sense of purpose. That’s the angle for Droga5’s new campaign, which tackles the complexities of arriving at a truth that “is hard to find” and the importance of making the journey to get there.


The New York Times is not alone in tackling the topic. The Washington Post recently launched a new “Democracy Dies in Darkness” slogan, and W+K’s ad for The Atlantic, starring Michael K. Williams, called on viewers to “Question Your Answers.”

A minimalist 30-second broadcast spot focuses on a series of statements starting with “The truth.”

“The truth is our nation is more divided than ever,” appears onscreen at the beginning of the ad, “The truth is alternative facts are just lies,” it continues. From there the sentence morphs in any number of ways, eventually becoming hard to follow along, until finally it arrives at “The truth is hard to find,” “The truth is hard to know” and “The truth is more important now than ever.”

The ad will make its broadcast debut during the Oscars on Sunday, marking The New York Times’ first broadcast spot since 2010.

The full campaign will also include a series of digital, social, print and OOH ads that similarly tackle the “truth” theme with minimalist displays designed to underscore the vital importance of independent journalism.new-york-times-truth-1
Droga5 and The New York Times launched the effort following research showing that many people don’t understand all the inherent difficulties journalists face in bringing stories to light.

“The campaign is in direct response to research administered by The Times that suggested that some people are not fully aware of how Times journalism is created,” the publication wrote in a release. “Specifically, the research found that some people do not realize all that goes into having reporters out in the field, in hard-to-reach places, covering complex topics.”

“At The Times, we have a 166-year history of an adherence to the highest standards in journalism and a sense of mission that propels our approach to how we cover the world,” added publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.. “We are committed to properly resourced, tough-minded and independent journalism, delivered without fear or favor. In a world where there is so much uncertainty about what is real and what is fake news, we remain steadfastly committed to a search for the truth.”