Highly Commended 2022

Technology & Telecoms



Entered by:

T Brand, the content studio of New York Times Advertising

Creating Sustainably

The Challenge

Samsung’s goal was to raise awareness of their eco-conscious products and technologies by demonstrating to a curious global consumer how they are helping society achieve a more sustainable future while minimizing the environmental impact of their products.

Yet, to effectively engage this curious global audience, we knew Samsung had to address a frustrating paradox that remains at the heart of green business: Brands too often communicate their sustainability initiatives and then call on individuals to take action on them. As a result it can often feel like brands are passing the climate responsibility onto consumers.

Therefore, our challenge was to get consumers to see how good intentions can translate to meaningingful actions by choosing Samsung. Put simply, our storytelling campaign needed to close the “intention-action gap” about sustainable technology.

Fortunately, the role of The New York Times is to help people understand the world, including how to live in it. And we have the global audience Samsung was trying to target. Our editorial coverage reflects our dedication to the environment and our belief that sustainability must be a top priority newsdesk. Everyday we invest in putting the complexity of climate change at the forefront of our readers’ minds and conversation. In fact in 2021, we published 5,146 stories with “climate” in the headline.

As one of the world’s foremost electronics companies, Samsung’s partnership with The New York Times enabled the brand to help people translate their sustainability beliefs and knowledge into everyday actions – at scale. Through dynamic storytelling with our content studio, T Brand, we illustrated how Samsung’s approach to sustainability is artful and adventurous and aimed at inspiring readers to embrace creative and sustainable solutions in their everyday habits.

The Content Solution

Samsung came to T Brand particularly for our documentary film and storytelling expertise in order to demonstrate how they are helping society achieve a more sustainable future. But, with many brands communicating their sustainability initiatives, we knew our films couldn’t add to the noise and pass their climate responsibilities on to consumers. It was key that our content – and the actions we we’re asking consumers to take – didn’t add complexity to their lives but instead make life more seamless.

Therefore, our strategy was simple: empower individuals to live their values by showing them sustainable choices are seamless with Samsung.

To deliver on this strategy, we produced a 360 multi-media campaign, “Creating Sustainably”, demonstrating to readers how to make sustainable choices easier. We took a human approach to storytelling by creating three films amplified through short-form display units and full-page stories. Each content piece was inspired by various NYT journalism features, using our understanding of reader engagement, to tell stories in the most compelling format.

Launched on World Environment Day, our first film followed Max Lamb, a furniture designer, as he gives an often-forgotten material — like cardboard packaging — a second life as a household chair. Our second film illustrated how actions people make in their everyday lives, like doing laundry, are made seamlessly more sustainable with Samsung products. Our final film explored how Andrew Nichols, a Samsung Engineer, upcycles electronics for his community to foster a more circular economy.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

Part of the power of working with T Brand is the ability to not only uncover powerful stories but apply the Times’ deep understanding of our readers to amplify them in new ways. And for Samsung, we used this unique understanding of our reader to craft our custom amplification solution.

Our paid media strategy for the campaign was rooted in the insight that: our curious readers turn to The New York Times as a trusted source to make informed decisions and live better, more fulfilling lives — that includes building a more sustainable lifestyle.

Therefore, to show how Samsung is empowering consumers with sustainable choices, we took a service journalism approach to deliver useful tips and practical guides across The New York Times. We prioritized large, engaging formats across digital and print to amplify custom content created by T Brand Studio to inspire Samsung’s audience of consumers to embrace creative and sustainable solutions in their own home.

To promote the film series, we leveraged The New York Times’s proprietary Cost-Per-View model guaranteeing views and engagement with our content, which prioritizes quality engagement at scale using a combination of native on-site and social traffic drivers. This campaign is managed by our T Brand Studio dedicated audience development team who continually optimizes towards the best-performing placements and editorial sections, maximizing the reach and impact of our partnership.

We supplemented the films with our high-impact proprietary responsive display unit (FlexXL) to amplify short-form content at scale. With up to five slides, the unit delivered digestible and practical tips to inspire readers to take action. To reach the right audience in the right environment, we applied first-party audience targeting to reach Tech Enthusiasts, Environmentalists and Opinion Leaders wherever they are on the site, and targeted contextually relevant sections such as Smarter Living and Tech, where we know readers turn to our trusted experts for guidance, solutions and recommendations.

In addition, to connect with our readers offline, we created a full-page color insertion in the pages of The New York Times newspaper for each episode. Coinciding with the launch of each film, the large canvas guided consumers to make sustainable choices with Samsung — from how to make their laundry more eco-conscious to providing a step-by-step guide on how to repurpose Samsung’s eco-packaging into furniture.

The Result

The collective power of our campaign enabled Samsung to reach 49 million global readers across The New York Times platform. Our impact was felt in every corner of the Times, including showing over 440,000 readers in the newspaper how to repurpose cardboard boxes into practical items for their own homes.

And in the age of atomized attention spans, we didn’t just reach a massive global audience. It kept them engaged too, with over 14,000 people spending an average of over 2:30 with our films.

Beyond engagement, over 2,200 people immediately sought out more information around how Samsung is helping society achieve a more sustainable future and how they too can do their part.