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The New York Times

The New York Times is running its first out-of-home marketing campaign for its Crossword puzzle app in Seattle and Boston through the end of March.

Why it matters: When it comes to bolstering its overall subscription count, The Times leans heavily on its Crossword puzzle app and its Cooking app.

  • The big picture: Out-of-home ads, which include billboards, transit posters and bus banners, make up the fastest-growing traditional ad medium, and it can be one of the most effective. Out-of-home ads can't be blocked by an ad-blocker, paused or muted. And they reach people usually while they're commuting and looking for something to entertain them.
  • Be smart: When it comes to luring subscribers, using traditional media is the hottest way to do it. The Times and The Washington Post have both ran multi-million dollar television ad campaigns this year.
  • By the numbers: The Times currently has more than 400,000 Crossword App subscriptions. It says the "mini puzzle" that it's specifically marketing with this campaign is played by 1.6 million players digitally each month, about a 50% increase over the past three years.

About the campaign: The campaign's central message is, "Wordplay, every day,” encouraging players to download the NYT Crossword app and play its "mini puzzle."

  • In Boston, the campaign will be visible across screens and billboards in the T metro trains and station platforms, and on buses and bus shelters.
  • In Seattle, the campaign will be seen on light rail trains and inside city buses.
  • The Times chose those cities because it knows part of its potential audience in these cities are commuting in urban settings and on public transit, and it thinks those commuters could use crosswords to fill hands-free commuter time.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
26 mins ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.