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The New York Times’ First-Ever Oscars Ad Is All About “The Truth”

The stylish spot is a confident middle finger to anyone accusing the Gray Lady of “failing.”

The New York Times’ First-Ever Oscars Ad Is All About “The Truth”

WHAT: The New York Times first-ever TV ad during the Oscars uses words to illustrate the challenge and importance of facts, and the pursuit of truth.

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WHO: The New York Times, Droga5

WHY WE CARE: Considering that the White House has called it “the opposition party,” and “enemy of the American people,” you could say the mainstream media has a brand problem. With outlets like Breitbart and Infowars, whose primary methods of reporting seem to be web trolling and make-believe, getting acceptance and encouragement from the current administration, it’s the perfect time for an organization like The New York Times–which President Trump loves to call “failing”–to not only let its work speak for itself, but utilize some old-fashioned advertising to make a point.

Last week it was The Atlantic, using the awesome Michael K. Williams to illustrate its point that we should be questioning our own assumptions. Here, the Gray Lady serves up a simple and stylish ode to the pursuit of truth, sung in the key of eff-you. Words and voices start to blur with statements like, “The truth is our nation is more divided than ever,” “The truth is alternative facts are lies,” “The truth is the media is dishonest,” “The truth is we need to protect our borders,” and “The truth is we need a full investigation of Russian ties.” The cacophony echoes the debates playing out on television, in our Facebook feeds, and around dinner tables everywhere. It all ends with the tagline, “The truth is hard to know. The truth is more important than ever.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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