Over the last week, the New York Times has been making headlines over this weekend’s special edition. When you print a magazine that doesn’t have any words, people start to ask questions.
The New York Times, in partnership with GE, filled this weekend’s edition (aptly named Voyages) with only photos. In order to bring context to the photos, readers have to adapt and become listeners instead. Through the Times’ website or by downloading the audio in podcast form, listeners can hear not only narration, but accompanying sounds. The quiet of nature, the rush of a wind turbine, the sludgy plod of lava flowing – you can experience it all from your couch or favorite coffee shop.
“The whole concept of the issue is giving readers a new understanding and appreciation for how much there is to learn about the world … with the sense of sound,” said Jake Silverstein, Editor of the New York Times.
The creativity behind the message is radically appealing to all types of readers. The process, although exhausting to produce (even the crossword puzzle is audio-oriented), created a holistic way for readers to interact with the Times’ content in a fresh, exciting, and immersive way. The headlining message, “Listen to the World,” appeals to those wanting to escape their daily routine or feel more in touch with other cultures and environments.
Through creating an experience that readers can interact with, the New York Times breathed life into the otherwise monotonous daily routine of reading the news. What can other brands take away from this? Getting consumers excited about your brand doesn’t have to be a radical process. The New York Times took preexisting content and garnered interest around it through a creative change in medium. Oftentimes, re-imagination is just as good as innovation, if not better.
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