You are what you read

New York Times: Word Cloud Portraits

The New York Times one of the most highly regarded news sources in the world, home of writers and reporting that have shaped history.

Like many newspapers, The Times has faced challenges in recent years, struggling to reach young audiences who no longer are interested in having the traditional newspaper show up on their doorstep each morning. They needed to create buzz among Millennials. They targeted the Consumer Electronics Show for an outreach event, and asked us for help with implementation.

We created a personalized digital activation experience. Event attendees were invited to pick a favorite section of the newspaper (Arts, Science, etc.), and snap a photo. Our custom-built app then turned their photo into a portrait made of words and phrases from articles in the section. It’s a selfie, but way smarter. While the app was being created, NYT staffers engaged with the attendee to attempt to convert them to subscribers.

My favorite example of standout swag from SXSW was from The New York Times. They were there creating word cloud portraits for attendees.

Inc, Magazine

The portraits made a splash, being shared all over Facebook and Instagram. At CES alone, over 2,000 portraits were created, leading to a 150% increase in at-show subscriptions. The NYT Word Cloud Portrait Experience was named a finalist in the CES Event Tech Awards. And the event’s success inspired the New York Times to repeat it at other events, including SxSW and MacWorld.