Last week, LedeObserver found a newspaper commercial with Meryl Streep, who championed the merits of reading with her timeless charm. And apparently, there are similar vintage advertisements.
In 1997, the Newspaper Association of America launched its first national ad campaign to promote reading and literacy at a time when Game Boy Color and PlayStations were sucking in the country’s next generation of potential news consumers. Before the launch, John Sturm, president and chief executive of the Association, spoke about the campaign with the New York Times, describing an impassioned plan to reintroduce young people to newspapers using celebrities and public figures. At the time, he said this:
Our aim is to promote reading, education and literacy and thereby showcase newspapers as a vital, vigorous and valued medium… The campaign’s strategy is to create advertising that adds excitement and momentum to newspapers.
There’s no question that the newspaper industry is in dire straights. So maybe it’s time for a revival of these newspaper ads. And maybe we just happened to find some. Here’s to LL Cool J (available for the first time, here, at LedeObserver) and Christy Turlington.
If models and rappers can’t bring back the paper, newspapers should throw in the towel. Or consider wrapping themselves in gold. Or maybe bacon.