Just a few months ago, The Washington Post surpassed The New York Times in unique total visitors for the month — a first for the paper — and Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and new proud owner of WaPo, declared that the journalistic institution was “working on becoming the new paper of record." Its strategies to this end are mostly what you’d expect: tireless reporting, a robust digital strategy, but also, Marshmallow Peeps?
This week, one of the most impressive features on WashingtonPost.com was its annual Easter-themed Peeps contest. A user can slowly rotate 360-degree scans of five Peep-themed displays, even spin, and zoom in and out on them. The Washington Post unlocked a novel way for its audience to interact with these cutting works of eccentric art. The dioramas themselves are at turns clever, funny, and disturbing. This year’s winning diorama is a closeup of Donald Trump’s head, with a cutaway section that reveals the ostensibly genuine machinery that powers his mind: Peeps!
The other finalists portrayed a beach scene, a Peeps-inspired parody of Hamilton titled “Peepilton," a Peeps-rendered scene of Ernest Shackleton and his men wrecked at the South Pole, and Albert Einstein contemplating the universe. They’re all rather cute, funny, and shareable. They’ll be on your Facebook feed soon, if they haven’t popped up already. It’s a veritable dance party for The Washington Post and its editorial policy.
Woodward-and-Bernstein investigative journalism it is not, but hey, how many people actually read all the Watergate Papers reports?