Best of 2019
Also featured in our Best of the Decade, the New York Times’ “Truth”-focused ads from Droga5 evolved even more powerfully in 2019, with spots that continued to trace the difficult and sometimes treacherous journey Times journalists take to faithfully report their stories. The campaign was one of the big winners at Cannes this year, earning multiple Grand Prix.
Droga5 New York’s most recent ads for The New York Times have thrown us into the drama of its investigative reporting. Under the banner of “The Truth Is Worth It,” spots have recreated its journalists’ rigorous--and sometimes life-threatening--digging via the simple layering of images and text.
They followed how NYT reporters unearthed stories about migrant children separated from their families at U.S borders, the questionable tax schemes that enabled President Trump to receive millions from his father, the genocide of the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar and the Mexican government’s hacking scheme targeting journalists.
The latest ad takes us to the Middle East alongside Pulitzer-nominated reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who traveled back and forth to wartorn Iraq to uncover how the Islamic State was able to remain in power for so long. Rukmini put herself at great risk, visiting more than 150 locations to obtain the information she needed. Often, she’d be the first to arrive on a site after militant forces cleared out in order to get her hands on important documents and files left behind. In her dogged pursuit, she was able to determine how the militant state maintained its rule through a surprisingly potent pairing of ”brutality and bureaucracy.”
The endlines read: "The truth doesn't report itself. The truth takes fearlessness. The truth is worth it."
The ad breaks in the wake of Callimachi’s more recent reporting on the crumbling of the Islamic State’s last stronghold in Syria.
The campaign went on to win the Cannes Lions Grand Prix in Film and the Grand Prix for Film Craft, marking the first time a single campaign has won in both those categories in the history of the festival.
“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.” Read more about the jury's deliberations over at Ad Age.com
During the Film Craft deliberations, Jury Chair Rebecca Skinner, managing director and executive producer at Superprime, noted during the awards press conference, "This particular idea at its core was so complimented by the craft in every single aspect, that it was seamless, it was immersive. Without one piece of it being crafted in a perfect way, it would have hurt the other piece. It was a very strong piece of work and we all felt very proud about it.”