Ad of the Day: Newsworks juxtaposes conflict imagery with emojis to highlight complexity of news

The ads use powerful images from news scenes around the world placed side-by-side with two-dimensional emojis

Newsworks, the marketing body for UK national newspapers, has released an ad campaign which juxtaposes stark images of conflict with two-dimensional emojis to demonstrate the depth of a news story, and the need for trusted news brands to analyse the complexity of the world now more than ever.

The campaign, called ‘It’s time to get real’, was created by advertising agency Gravity Road and launched yesterday (8 October) in national newsbrand titles. The ads go live across out-of-home sites today.

The ads use powerful images from news scenes around the world; including a photograph from a rally in Venezuela, an image depicting relatives reuniting across a wired fence, and a woman covering the eyes of a child as a military member is seen in the background, placed side-by-side with two-dimensional emojis.

The marketing body hopes that by drawing stark comparisons between the complexity of a news story and the simplicity of an emoji, it will highlight newsbrands’ role in conveying the depth of news at a time when trusted news is needed more than ever.

The ads feature the strapline: “Newspaper brands provide a context you can trust. Be part of it.”

Newsworks’ chief executive Vanessa Clifford said the campaign challenges people to “reframe how they think about newsbrands today”.

Added Clifford: “From political upheaval, to war zones, to terrorist atrocities, the current news landscape needs newsbrands to delve into the details behind the headlines and make sense of the complexity. At their heart, newspapers have always been great storytellers. Their journalists have the ability to convey the humanity and emotion and provide the analysis we need to get the full-picture."

Gravity Road founder Mark Boyd added: "This was an important brief at a key moment. To be able to understand what is happening around a headline, to trust what you’re reading and who is writing it just gets harder and harder. But it should be important to readers as well as advertisers. In that context, this work seeks to highlight the value of newspaper brands today.”

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Jessica Goodfellow

The Drum's media reporter covering everything from publishing, TV, social media, radio and technology.

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