The Truth is Hard

In today’s political climate, polarized views are being batted around following the common phrase, “the truth is.” We see it so often on talk shows, interviews and news reports, the phrase, “the truth is,” followed with an opinion. This is making it harder and harder for viewers to decipher what is actual factual truth and what is not. 

The New York Times ran this ad campaining to demonstrate that they are aware that finding and reporting the actual truth is difficult. They want to put themselves in the middle of this worldwide dialougue, as a safe middle ground amoungst the noisy sea of polarizing topics and statements. The Times wants to demonstrate that no matter the political stance or side taken, it will perform its duty of getting down to the real truth of the matter. 

The ad spot definitely had an impact. Depending on your feelings of the New York Times, that impact can be either positive or negative. However, looking at it from purely an advertising perspective, I think it is very well done. Black-and-white typography laying out a litany of conflicting statements and the voiceovers of various people proclaiming their own notions of truth playing in the background really give a sense of chaos that many are feeling in this day and age. The rapid overlay of text and sound create a massive pile of information — until the sound cuts out and the screen goes blank. Words, now in bold, reappear slowly, accompanied by simple piano notes that stir emotion and a feeling of simplicity. “The truth is hard/the truth is hard to know/the truth is more important than ever,” it says, until the Times reinforces these notions with thier logo to close the ad. By using this type of creative, the Times mirrors what’s going on in the real world and then offers themselves as “the pre-eminent place for independent, deeply reported journalism,” – a means to find the real truth. 


The New York Times ‘The Truth Is’ Print Ad. Credit: The New York Times

Newspaper print has been behind in the advertising race. However, merging with the mobile world via websites and online subscriptions has helped indubitably. Print will never compare to its high definition, constantly changing, online counterpart when it comes to advertisements – especially if the newspaper is sticking true to its roots and shying away from magazine qualities. Although, why I think this particular campaign is successful is because the TV advertisement is the main focal point, which allows the print ads you may see in the New York Times to branch from it. It allows the newspaper reader to look at the print ad and remember the TV ad they saw beforehand. Presto! We have a trigger for brand recognition. 

What did you think of this campaign? How does it impact you?

Sierra Dawn

Read the Full AdAge article here

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