BBH New York has created a new campaign for NYC & Company, the official tourism organisation for New York, in a bid to attract yet more tourists to the city (the aim is to entice 50 million visitors annually by 2015). The campaign, based around the tag This Is New York City, encompasses television, print, online and outdoor advertising, as well as a new logo by Wolff Olins, which will be used in advertising, promotional materials, as well as on New York taxis.
With the campaign airing in such diverse markets as the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain, as well as domestically in the US in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and San Antonio, the ads focus on creating a family-friendly feel, pitching New York as a exciting, frentic fairground of a city. While this is a gripe that many New Yorkers may have about the city’s image post Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg’s considerable clear-up of its grittier edges, as so often is the way with these campaigns, those actually living in the city may recognise little reality in the tourism-friendly campaign.
“We wanted to capture the excitement of a NYC visit at its most direct and joyful,” explains Andrew Nathan, group account director at BBH New York. “NYC resists easy definition: it’s just so big, diverse and dynamic. What makes NYC so unique is that it’s just so much more. No other city can offer the same kind of things as NYC and with such breathtaking combination of scale, range or energy.”
For the TV ad, BBH New York brought in Motion Theory to bring the illustrative feel of the posters to life (the spot can be viewed here). “We turned to the expressive power of animation, using it to dramatise how fully alive NYC makes you feel,” continues Nathan. “The amplified visual approach finds its counterpoint in our language, which uses understatement to make definitive claims of superiority: This Is New York City.”
The NYC logo has been created by Wolff Olins and has already proved controversial, a position no doubt familiar to the company following its much-reviled 2012 Olympics logo. Its rather messy use on taxi cabs has proved a particular concern, leading to a lengthy critique by designers in the New York Times. “In my opinion, you don’t need to have the NYC logo on the cars as well to make something that should be simple more confusing. A simple type that you read instantly and the yellow cars should be iconic enough,” was Oscar Bjarnason of Systm‘s verdict, an opinion that appears to be shared, in rather less polite terms, by the NY Times bloggers.