Why the Chicago Sun-Times went blank on its cover

Idea was part of campaign to drive subscriptions

Published On
Apr 24, 2018

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In case you want to challenge yourself, before finding out what this curious idea is all about, take this pop quiz.

For the lazier folk, we'll explain straight away. Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times featured this baffling front page, featuring nothing besides its name. It's kind of reminiscent of The New York Times' play from 2013 illustrating the fact that no MLB players were being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame that year. The Chicago idea, however, is a straight-up appeal to readers for their support and to "imagine a Chicago without the Sun-Times. It's part of the newspaper's campaign to increase subscriptions--both digital and overall, and to assert the publication's commitment to elevating its content.

The Sun-Times partnered with Ogilvy Chicago on the effort, which is just one of a series of ideas for the campaign. In the age of Trump and fake news, a number news outlets have stepped up in a big way to promote their brands, as with the New York Times' award-winning "Truth Is Hard" campaign and CNN's "Apple" effort, among others.