Still image from a New York Times brand campaign film showing an image of a pperson with ornate tattoos, decorated head cap, and fantastical facial accessories, holding an elaborate mask to the wall, with the words 'Modification' layered over the photo

The New York Times’ ads take us down the rabbit hole

The newspaper’s new brand campaign illuminates the unexpected connections between stories and the way we navigate the internet today

What links carbon, chatbots, chewing gum, and cafeterias? How about sake, cosmetic surgery, conspiracy theories, and stocks?

The New York Times has launched a new brand campaign that takes the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept – the theory that everyone on earth is only several connections away from anyone else – and applies it to journalistic storytelling.

Led by Droga5 NY, the campaign, called More of Life Brought to Life, is told through three key films directed by Mackenzie Sheppard. The title of each film – Sneakers, Gravity, and Time – is used as a starting point for an unexpected learning journey, the message being: chip beneath the surface and there’s no end to where a reader’s curiosity can take them.

More of Life Brought to Life uses typography, editing and motion design in effective fashion, with the ad’s style in keeping with the high-energy tone struck in its past campaigns, including the lauded Truth series of brand films.

The new campaign mirrors the rabbit hole syndrome that the internet has created in most of us, and the way in which many people navigate the news and media today, hopping from one topic to the next with the click of a hyperlink. At the same time, it also seamlessly captures the New York Times’ journalistic range, as well as the sub-brands within the New York Times umbrella, including its puzzles section, Cooking and The Athletic.

The campaign will roll out across broadcast media, display ads, online video advertising, social media, and audio formats, with the third film, Time, due to launch later this spring.

Still image from a New York Times brand campaign film showing an image of a an astronaut in space with the earth visible in the background, and the words 'Gravity, you' layered over the photo
Still image from a New York Times brand campaign film with a black and white cutout of a person's face on a black background with the words 'of a Chatbot' layered over the photo

Agency: Droga5 NY
CCO: Scott Bell
ECDs: Laurie Howell, Toby Treyer-Evans
Creatives: Sara Buchnick, Ben Muckensturm, Aaron Araya, Ross Weaver, Ian Hart, Charlotte Simons, Melanie Reichert
Production Company: Bonaparte
Co-Production: ProdCo
Director: Mackenzie Sheppard
Post, VFX: The Mill NY