CNN is going back to basics in its new ad campaign.
The cable network launched its “Facts First” initiative on Monday morning, posting a short new ad that features only a single, unchanged visual: an apple. The voiceover then posits a situation where someone else may try to spread the rumor that it’s actually a banana — an absurd determination the video implicitly links to the spreading of fake news.
“They might scream banana, banana, banana, over and over again,” the voiceover goes. “They might put BANANA in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not. This is an apple.”
Throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has attacked CNN and other news networks as “fake news” who lie to inflame stories about him. (He last name-checked the cabler on Twitter on Saturday, along with broadcast outlets NBC, ABC, and CBS.) A Morning Consult/Politico poll from last week found that nearly half of voters believe that the news media “fabricate” stories about Trump and his administration.
In spite of the apparent reputation hit, CNN has seen its ratings grow in the past year. The network’s most recent quarter was its most-watched ever, even overtaking last summer’s coverage of the 2016 election.