Nat Whitten, head of marketing for the New York Times and one of Adweek's "top freelancers in the industry," gave us a brief with the goal of attracting millennials to the Politics section of the New York Times.
For the first promotion of the campaign, we plan to hand out one free print copy of the New York Times Politics to New Yorkers as they enter subway stations on a particular day. The paper will be wrapped in a minimalistic sleeve that reads, "Form your own opinion," telling readers to form their own views on politics using the facts provided in the New York Times. On the inside of the paper is a print ad that reads, "No service? No problem. You don't have to be in the dark." The paper will exclusively be handed out at subway stations that do not have cell phone service. Without their phones as entertainment, more millennials are likely to read the paper. Many millennials exclusively read their news online: this print ad reminds us that a good old fashioned printed newspaper never loses service. Although it appears obvious to an older generation, we want to remind millennials that the New York Times is available both on and offline.
The campaign will also feature an experiential aspect. A succinct quiz with the clickable title, "Does voting in the 2016 elections matter?" will be displayed on the digital kiosks on subway platforms. No matter how one answers the questions, the results are always, "Of course!" followed by a statistic on low voter turnout and a plug for the New York Times Politics section. If an individual answers that he or she is between the ages of 18 and 34, the quiz outcome lists a statistic specific to millennials; the other statistic is more general. The quiz is fast enough to hold short attention spans, interactive to captivate the audience, and encourages social engagement with "share" buttons to social media located on the results page.
Many people believe that if their state always votes a certain way, then their vote doesn't matter. Our goal is discourage this mentality and to motivate eligible voters to stay informed with the New York Times.
The quiz will also be published as a sponsored post by "The New York Times Politics and Washington" on Facebook, furthering the potential for social engagement.
The campaign will also feature a Facebook ad designed to interrupt the audience's Newsfeed. Consciously or not, many millennials form their opinions through their friends and colleagues; according to AmericanPressInstitute.org, "fully 88 percent of Millennials get their news from Facebook regularly...and more than half of them do so daily" (2015). While scrolling through their Newsfeed, this ad aims to raise Millennials' awareness that this habit is not ideal and that Facebook does not count as an accurate or reliable source to seek information. This ad also plays to Millennials by not appearing too overtly like an advertisement, as many people aged 18-34 are turned off by blatant ads. Instead, the advertisement is subtle, with only the "T" in the iconic "New York Times" font and the post linking to the New York Times website to give it away.
This can also serve as a banner ad on other websites.