This is an apple. Some people might try to tell you that it's a banana. They might scream, 'Banana, banana, banana' over and over and over again. They might put banana in all caps. You might even start to believe it's a banana, but it's not. This is an apple.
(Watch it here.) The ad was an obvious dig at the Trump administration, home of "alternative facts" and constant cries of "fake news" directed at news organizations including CNN. Now CNN is serving up a sequel (above) in which apple after apple is shown. Per the announcer:
This is an apple. And this is an apple. And this is an apple. And this is an apple. And when you put them all together, you've got [dramatic pause] a case.
"A case" is an obvious reference to the case that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been building in his investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
It's a feisty move by CNN at a moment when President Trump's obsession with CNN is being examined anew. Per Bloomberg News yesterday,
AT&T wants to show political tampering as it seeks evidence about whether President Donald Trump influenced the Justice Department's decision to sue to block the company's proposed acquisition of Time Warner. ... AT&T's move attempts to highlight how the White House may have pulled some strings in the first major antitrust action brought by Trump's Justice Department. The lawsuit, which is set to go to trial March 19, has sparked speculation that Trump, a relentless critic of Time Warner's CNN, pushed the department to oppose the deal.
The work is Figliulo & Partners' fifth installment in the "Facts First" campaign.
"The whole campaign is simple," says the agency's chief creative officer, Scott Vitrone. "This is another simple premise: When facts stack up, you've got, potentially, a case. You have more of an argument."
The agency has been following news closely so it can act quickly as events unfold, according to Vitrone. It's a very different task than working behind the scenes on ads that the world won't see for months, he says. Helping with that speed has been Figliulo & Partners' in-house studio, Cousin.
"It's been incredibly exciting," he says. "Normally inside ad agencies, things don't move at lightning speed. That's been fun about working with CNN—it's very real-time. We do feel like we're involved in cultural moments as they happen, and conversations as they happen."
Figliulo & Partners president and partner Judith Carr-Rodriguez adds that the campaign is more than a way to promote CNN. It's also been a way to say what CNN stands for, she says. "Because of that, there's just this appetite to make sure we're continuing with these stories."