The Latest New York Times Ad Tracks One Journalist’s Harrowing Descent Into the Heart of ISIS

Droga5 celebrates the 'Fearlessness' of Rukmini Callimachi

It's part of the ongoing 'The Truth Is Worth It' series. The New York Times
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As journalism continues to come under fire in the United States and around the world, The New York Times has called on agency of record Droga5 to once again remind the public of the critical, complicated and dangerous work its reporters do every day.

The latest entry in the Grey Lady’s ongoing “The Truth Is Worth It” campaign, “Fearlessness,” highlights recent efforts by one particular reporter.

Since joining the NYT in 2014, Rukmini Callimachi has been covered Islamic extremism, winning several awards for her work on the rise and fall of the Islamic State.

“Fearlessness” illustrates how such investigative reports come to life: through days and weeks on the ground in war zones speaking with sources who rightfully fear for their lives while gathering the facts required to string a narrative together.

“In a time when the truth is being twisted, bent and sometimes forgotten, we needed to shine a light on the untold rigor that The New York Times puts into bringing deeply reported, high-quality journalism to the world,” the campaign materials read.

Callimachi traveled to Iraq five times and visited more than 150 sites, including the final outpost of ISIS, in order to report the story. Along the way, she spoke to a number of sources while avoiding improvised explosive devices and witnessing their carnage.

The resulting report, which ran about a year ago, provided an unprecedented look into the inner workings of the terrorist group, allowing for new insights into how it gained power in the area and stayed in charge for so long. Callimachi and her colleagues only obtained the documents detailing plans for the caliphate and its brutality through dogged persistence.

While working on the story, Callimachi came under live fire many times and was in contact with former members of what has been the world’s most notorious terrorist group of the past several years. The most important evidence came from a “nondescript briefcase” found in the “rubble of a destroyed building in the last square mile of ISIS controlled Western Mosul.”

It’s the work of dedicated professionals like Callimachi that makes The New York Times the paper of record.


Client The New York Times
Agency: Droga5
Title: “Fearlessness”

Creative Chairman: David Droga
Chief Creative Officer: Neil Heymann
Executive Creative Director: Tim Gordon
Creative Director: Laurie Howell
Creative Director: Toby Treyer-Evans
Design Director: Nate Moore
Designer: Eli Hochberg
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Director of Film Production: Jesse Brihn
Associate Director of Film Production: Ruben Mercadal
Senior Producer, Film: Topher Cochrane
Senior Producer, Film: Brandon Chen
Associate Producer, Film: Holly Schussler
Music Supervisor: Mike Ladman
Director of Business Affairs: Jocelyn Howard
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Whitney Vose
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Head of Strategy: Harry Román-Torres
Strategy Director: Nick Maschmeyer
Head of Communications Strategy: Dean Challis
Group Communications Strategy Director: Samantha Deevy
Senior Communications Strategist: Jay Potash
Data Strategy Director: Ryan Miller
Group Account Director: Courtney Russell
Account Director: Ola Abayomi
Account Manager: Tehjal Suri
Senior Project Manager: Caroline Kosse
Junior Project Manager: Amanda Cohen

The New York Times
Meredith Kopit Levien: EVP & Chief Operating Officer
David Rubin: Chief Marketing Officer
Amy Weisenbach: Senior VP, Marketing
Iain Newton: Brand Strategy
Sabena Gupta: Director, Brand Strategy
Laura Forde: Executive Creative Director, Marketing
Taylor Gandossy: Senior Writer, Brand
Brenna King Schleifer: Brand & Media Insights Director
Janis Huang: Executive Director, Media Strategy
Peter Lauer: Senior Manager, Media Strategy
Blair Ecton: Senior Project Manager

Production Company: Furlined
Directors: Daniel Lindsay and TJ Martin
President: Diane McArter
Executive Producer/Director of Development: Ben Davies
Executive Producer: David Thorne

Editorial: Final Cut
Editor: Jim Helton
Assistant Editor: Chris Rizzo, Sophie Solomon, Alyce Muhammed
Executive Producer: Sarah Roebuck
Head of Production: Penny Ensley
Producer: Lareysa Smith

Post Production: Significant Others
Producer: Alek Rost, Kyra Hendricks
Animator: Phil Brooks
Creative Director: Dirk Greene
VFX Artist: Betty Cameron
VFX Artist: Jenna DeAngelis

Color: Company 3
Senior Colorist: Tom Poole
Colorist: Sophie Borup
Producer: Alexandra Lubrano

Music: Sound Wave Studios NY
Composers: Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans
Sound Designer/Mixer: Aaron Reynolds
Sound Designer/Mixer: Ed Downham
Executive Producer: Vicky Ferraro

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.