Big Apple = Big Advertising

I’m in New York City on a business trip and I was reminded today that perhaps the Bay Area is not the center of the universe when it comes to marketing. In California everyone drives everywhere.  Unlike New York (and for that matter London, DC, Boston, Hong Kong, Paris there’s very little riding of buses, trains, and subways in California  and certainly no one walks to their office.

I’m struck by messages everywhere in New York.   City buses are wrapped with gigantic Sex and the City 2 images. Carrie Bradshaw is about 8 feet tall. T-Mobile and Verizon are fighting the battle on the streets. Large banners hang off store fronts screaming “unlimited texting”. The taxi cab is a marketing incubator. There’s a moving billboard on every roof, a TV  carrying tourism and travel messages in the back seat,  a recorded messaged encouraging you to see a broadway show and coupons for the ESPN restaurant.

The subway is like being inside the Sunday newspaper circular section. There are posters for every imaginable product from Viagra to the Ford Probe to Carnival Cruises. These in-car posters tie to large bill boards in the subway tunnels – great example of an “integrated marketing campaign” and at the Herald Square stop a street team was actually handing out flyers from a medical practice (tied to the Viagra I think!)

And of course there’s Times Square, where the huge moving bill boards are amazing and truly make you wake up and pay attention. They’re so amazing, in fact, that they’re part of the attraction – something to strive for when creating advertising and branding work. The ToysRUs store’s huge animated sign for Toys Story 3  may be the biggest come on since “Free Nickle Slots” in Las Vegas, and based on the number of people in the store, it’s working.

Marketing everywhere got me thinking about “cutting through the clutter”. Nearly every brief I’ve read or written in the past 10 years says “cut through the clutter”.   Nice to see that work in real life.