The Oscars’ big advertising winner: The New York Times
February 28, 2017
These days nothing in media is truly surprising, at a time when the president has declared the press the enemy of the people and papers seem to be retooling their taglines just to troll said president.
So it was perhaps not as surprising as it would have been a few years ago to see a commercial for The New York Times during Sunday’s Oscars telecast.
The spot, which the paper released on YouTube ahead of the ceremony, offered up the paper as a valuable resource at a time of “alternative facts.”
The paper pledged to uncover the truth behind what can often seem like many competing ideas.
It marked the first time since 2010 that The NY Times had bought a television ad – and during one of the year’s most-watched broadcasts, no less.
The Times’ message–and the message we’re hearing from so many other papers–is that the times are ripe to reignite interest in the sort of well-reported journalism that guided American public life before the internet.
Its argument: Real facts have never been more relevant, and those who subscribe to papers will get those facts rather than the “fake news” that overruns the web.
Ad draws buzz
The Times did a smart thing by releasing the ad online before Oscars night. As it happened, Trump saw the ad and took to Twitter to grouse about it in a Sunday morning tweet, ensuring millions would have an eye out for it.
His tweet: “For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!”
Whether the ad will help drive the New York Times’ recently surging subscriptions remains to be seen. But it certainly succeeded in generating buzz.
According to Talkwalker, a social media data company, The Times had the second-largest share of mentions on social media of any advertiser during the awards ceremony. It ranked behind only Walmart, which sponsored the red carpet ceremony beforehand.
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