Laurie Howell and Toby Treyer-Evans of Droga5 have directed the campaign, matching the rhythm of a subscriber’s life to their reading history.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – and the ongoing collaboration between The New York Times and Droga5 just works. Picking up from Droga5 and Kim Gehrig’s infectious 2020 ad for the publication Life Needs Truth, the creative agency has released Independent Journalism for an Independent Life, a new campaign directed by Droga5 directors Laurie Howell and Toby Treyer-Evans. While Life Needs Truth puts journalism to the beat of jazz, the new spot follows the rhythm of multiple readers’ lives, shifting the lens onto audiences to show the “personal impact” of journalism, Droga5 directors Toby Treyer-Evans and Laurie Howell tell It’s Nice That.
The campaign is built on the idea of independence. Each advert follows one reader – Jordan, Vera, Becky, Lianna and Yassmin – as their singular lives and interests are revealed through their reading history. But in classic Droga5-Times fashion, article headlines fill the screen, typed out brilliantly to sounds, music and a keyboard clicking. Offering an insight into subscribers’ personal stories, Independent Journalism for an Independent Life aims to show both the multiplicity of The New York Times journalism and its readers, while celebrating the role journalism plays in inspiring and informing those stories.
“We loved the idea of filling the screen with a life – toggling between moving image and static imagery – life and journalism – blending artifacts with music, sound and moments from our readers’ lives to paint an interwoven picture of who they are,” continues Toby and Laurie. “Building the text block and the story at the same time felt visually different as a starting place for a commercial – filling up a life and stretching every corner with type, sound and image.” Utilising this visual device, Droga5 captures the differences between lives and continues the identity it established with its previous work for the publication.
While Droga5 wanted to evolve from previous campaigns, certain stylistic signatures reappear, making the work instantly recognisable as The New York Times. “The use of typography is something we have kept as a thread through the work,” Toby and Laurie explain, “playing with timing, writing, typeset and images, all on the screen together.”
Droga5 interviewed a variety of voices across the United States for the spot, asking subscribers about their New York Timesreading histories, interests and lifestyles. The team then collected and curated headlines to paint a narrative, which informed the material the creative agency shot. These research strands come together to create an “interwoven” story of a life,” says Toby and Laurie.
Independent Journalism for an Independent Life launches today (Monday 7 February); the full campaign features TV, digital, print, out-of-home, social and audio spots.
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