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05/04/2007 - par Mark Tungate

I'm off to New York this week­end, so I enthusiastically dived in to the Time Out New York website to find out about the latest bars and restaurants. Sorry, I mean the latest art galleries and exhibitions, of course. But while I was there, I noticed a very interesting online advertising campaign for the New York Times newspaper. Instead of desperately trying to compete with the internet, the newspaper has decided to promote itself as an alternative. It's one of those advertising ideas that is simple, yet genius.

Let's take a look at the images. Here we see a cool forty-something guy in a Manhattan café with his coffee and orange juice, slowly reading the New York Times while the summer sunshine pours in through the window. « Browse offline », says the slogan. In another execution, a slightly younger guy is sitting in Central Park reading the paper, while the caption reads : « Think outside the screen. » The thinking behind the advertising certainly makes sense. Thanks to our laptop and our Blackberry, we're slaves to our screens. We seem to spend every moment of our waking day in the blue force field of that all-knowing rectangle. Newspapers represent a traditional, reassuring and relaxing alternative : an escape to reality. Perhaps like vinyl discs, barber shops and vintage clothes - newspapers will come to represent authenticity in a disposable world. They are luxury goods. I believe I have just saved a medium. Rejoice !

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