Alison Weissbrot
Feb 7, 2022

The New York Times highlights subscribers in new campaign

The publisher is leaning into a subscription-first strategy after amassing more than 10 million paid users.

The New York Times highlights subscribers in new campaign

Whether you’re a news junkie, a foodie, a sports fanatic, an audiophile and, now, a Wordle player you’re likely to run into New York Times journalism throughout your day.

The publication’s latest campaign, released on Monday, highlights the way The Times fuels readers’ curiosity on a broad scale in a bid to grow its subscriber base.

The campaign, created with The Times’ longtime agency partner Droga5, highlights real subscribers and their interests, using vivid imagery overlaid with news headlines in the classic New York Times font.

Four subscribers—Lianna, Jordan, Becky and Vera—narrate their own 30-second spot, reading headlines that scroll across the screen until the entire frame is overlaid with text. Each spot concludes with the tagline: “independent journalism for independent people.”

“We wanted to demonstrate the value our journalism brings on a broad scale,” said Amy Weisenbach, SVP and head of marketing for The New York Times. “Spotlighting real subscribers reinforces that our journalism isn't singular, and neither are our readers.”

The Times casted the subscribers featured in the campaign in various ways, including recruiting them from past research panels and finding them among the archives of New York Times profiles.

“When we look at what our subscribers read, one might come to us to stay on top of politics, but they also do the crossword and read arts coverage. Someone else might be an average user of NYT Cooking, but might also follow climate reporting and opinion columnists,” Wiesenbach said. “Our subscribers’ relationship with The Times are as varied as they are.”

Now is the right time for this message because people are reevaluating their lifestyles, from The Great Resignation to the white-hot real estate market, and looking to The Times to guide them through it, Wiesenbach added.

“We always look for ways to connect what is happening in culture to the role Times journalism can play in our readers’ lives,” she said.

It also comes as The Times makes a concerted push into subscriptions. Last week, the publisher announced it has hit its goal of more than 10 million subscribers across its products, boosted in part by its January acquisition of sports website The Athletic for $550 million.

The campaign will run on broadcast TV, streaming platforms, social media, podcasts and across The Times’ properties throughout the year. It also includes the publisher’s “biggest out-of-home buy to date,” Weisenbach said, running in the cities where each subscriber featured in the campaign is from: New York, Atlanta, Washington D.C and Chicago.

“It was beautiful as an out-of-home execution—the interplay between the beautiful New York Times headlines and classic fonts overlaid with really rich photos that paint a picture of subscribers’ lives,'' Weisenbach said. “When we saw it laid out we were like, this would be really impactful larger-than-life.”

Campaign US

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