NYT Plumbs Archives for New Banner

Don’t count out the banner ad just yet. The New York Times has rolled out another creative showstopper.

There’s a Prudential interactive unit on the NYT homepage right now that lets readers enter their birth date to see the front cover of the Gray Lady from that day. The 970 x 250 unit taps into the NYT archive of about 55,000 front pages over the last century. There’s a social component to the ad that lets readers share their front page news on Twitter and LinkedIn. The campaign will run today only.

It’s a prime example of data-mining tactics used for advertising creativity. This is the first time the Times has done something as large as this unit using a database. The company created a directory with more than 110,000 thumbnails of its front page from 1863 to 2002. Prudential created this in collaboration with NYT Idea Lab and third party ad vendor Pointroll. The unit is dubbed “DoubleBill.”

Here’s what the takeover looks like before a user enters their birthday.

Here’s what the ad looks like after the birthday is entered. I used my special day — August 8, 1978.


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