Powerful New York Times commercial highlights concussion reporting on the eve of the Super Bowl

  • A powerful new commercial from the New York Times highlights the effects reporting can have on the real world by highlighting the paper’s coverage of concussions.
  • The minimalist ad uses headlines to tell the story of Junior Seau, from his rookie year to his tragic suicide, and concludes on the NFL’s changing of the concussion protocol.
  • The ad comes just days before the biggest day for both football and commercials of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.

A new commercial from the New York Times aims to highlight the power of reporting by reminding its audience of the progress that has been made in the NFL with regard to how the league treats concussions now that the effects of CTE are more widely known.

With a minimalist layout that’s reminiscent of previous ads from the Times’ “The Truth is Hard” campaign, the ad begins by showing headlines that highlight the start of Junior Seau’s career, soundtracked by a cheering crowd. The ad flips through headlines as Seau continues his career, making a Super Bowl and coming back from injury for his 18th season.

Then, the cheers stop, as the next headline reveals the news of Seau’s suicide, with subsequent stories revealing that Seau had suffered from CTE. The final headline lands on the NFL changing its concussion protocol, signalling a shift in the seriousness with which the league takes concussions, and how they come as a direct result of reporting.

The ad comes just days before the biggest day for both football and commercials of the year – Super Bowl Sunday.

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