By Evelyn Mateos, Editor & Publisher Magazine
The Associated Press recently revealed a new brand campaign which, according to a press release, emphasizes the global news organization’s “vital role as the provider of accurate, unbiased, fact-based reporting to the world.” The campaign launched in June with a video as well as a few updated elements to its visual identity system. The most significant design change is adding “The” back into The Associated Press, but the AP logo remains the same.
“The main goal is to elevate our position and our mission in the world,” global marketing director Julie Tucker told E&P. “People think they know who we are, but we have not been as bold in saying who we are, why we matter and what our mission is.”
When they were putting together the campaign, the theme of neutrality spoke to Tucker, but as they worked to unpack that idea it became clear that the AP was “all about facts,” she said.
The AP originally set out to launch the campaign in October 2019, but they decided to devote a little more time to the project. From there, the launch was postponed several more times, according to Tucker: one, due to the backlash the AP faced in January for cropping Vanessa Nakate, a Black Ugandan teen climate activist, out of a photo featuring four white teen activists, and two, the rise of COVID-19 in Asia and then the U.S.
It appeared as though they were going to miss their window of opportunity when the messaging suddenly seemed more relevant in the current media climate, where misinformation about COVID-19 was spreading. It was why the AP decided to launch the campaign now.
The campaign was picked up and tweeted by members of the Washington Post and National Geographic, and internal staff have shared that this campaign makes them feel proud to work at the AP, said Tucker.
For now, the organization wants to leverage their staff as their best advocates and utilize social media platforms to share the message. In the future, the AP hopes to create more films and digital ads centered around the campaign.
“This is an enduring brand mission and positioning. It’s something that we’ll roll off for next year,” Tucker said. “It’s not a tagline or slogan. It is really what we do in the world and how we should behave. Unless we decide to go into a completely different industry, it is what the Associated Press will always do—advance the power of facts.”