The New York Times’ “The Truth Is Worth It” campaign from Droga5 New York nabbed the Film Grand Prix on the final night of the Cannes Lions, adding to the other top honor it earned in Film Craft earlier this week. This marks the first time a single campaign has won in both those categories in the history of the festival.
The campaign features multiple spots that seem to trace New York Times’ journalists’ stories as they are being written, using a combination of typography, footage and audio recorded by the reporters themselves. Each spot culminates with an actual headline that appeared in the paper.
“To be the best, you really have to have a brilliant idea, but it also has to combine with a brilliant execution,” said Goodby, Silverstein & Partners Chief Creative Officer Margaret Johnson, who served as jury president. The New York Times’ campaign “was the best example of idea and execution coming together,” she said. It demonstrated “credibility, authenticity and intensity.”
One standout element was the typography. “It’s very simple but extremely powerful,” she said. “It dances with the music. It’s kind of like a character and plays an active role in the storytelling.”
Moreover, the campaign idea has longevity. “It’s not a blip and can continue on,” Johnson said.
Johnson noted that this year was especially competitive. The Film jurors reviewed about 2,700 submissions--the most entries the category has ever had.
Going into the festival, Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign was pegged to be a big contender across multiple categories, specifically given the brand's daring decision to feature and support controversial football player Colin Kaepernick. In film, Johnson said Nike did come up in discussion. “We talked about it a ton and all agreed it was an amazing, amazing campaign,” she said. “But our favorite part about it was the print, or the outdoor--which was bam! Amazing headline, super simple and got straight to the point. For us, [the] key piece was print. We felt the New York Times was better representative of the film piece we were looking for for the Grand Prix.”
In fact, the "Dream Crazy" anthem film only scored Silver, while another spot in the campaign, starring Serena Williams, scored Gold.