The past few years has seen an explosion of misinformation and misleading political ads on social media – creating an intense backdrop for election campaigns on both sides of the pond. The role that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter play in spreading political messaging has come under increasing scrutiny in an era of fake news, bots and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, prompting calls for better measures to protect users against false claims and dubious paid-for posts.
As the USA 2020 presidential elections gains momentum, Wall Street Journal is asking its readers to look beyond the hashtags and algorithms to seek out reliable information. The campaign riffs on a similar ideology to The New York Times’ ongoing The Truth is Worth It campaign – highlighting the value of print media in an age where misinformation is rife – although here, WSJ takes a more explicit swipe at social platforms.
The campaign was led by The&Partnership, and comprises a series of print and billboard ads with slogans like “Read yourself to your own opinion” and “Read yourself past the hashtags”. It is topped with a spot directed by Juan Cabral – the creative behind the classic Cadbury’s drumming gorilla ad – that drives home the overwhelming nature of modern media and encourages the public to draw its own conclusions. As a motivational voiceover invites us read past the “noise”, emojis, servers and political billboards explode dramatically, offering a lighthearted take on an important matter.
The campaign follows in the footsteps of WSJ’s 2017 campaign, Read Ambitiously, also led by The&Partnership. “The idea behind Read Yourself Better is to highlight how hard it is for consumers to navigate our overloaded media landscape and to figure out who to trust and what’s worth reading,” The&Partnership ECD Justin Ruben said of the campaign. “The WSJ is a solution to this with its quality journalism based on facts. Creatively we wanted to bring the online and offline world to life in a new and unexpected way and create a visual world that also broke through the clutter.”
Agency: The&Partnership New York
Executive Creative Director: Justin Ruben
Art Director: David Tomkins
Creatives: Simon Philion, Veronica Jeronimo
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Juan Cabral