NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization of the City of New York, is going local with a new campaign launching this week that focuses on getting holiday shoppers to go exploring in 15 Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods. The organization says the effort is its most ambitious experiential marketing campaign to date and one that involves 650 merchants and NYC member businesses and includes 150 activities and events.
Areas getting the spotlight include the Meatpacking District, Union Square, Flatiron, Soho, Brooklyn Heights, and Dumbo (the area on the Brooklyn side between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges). The events, activities, marketing and happenings will be promoted under the advertising theme line "24 days, 15 neighborhoods."
Jane Reiss, CMO of NYC & Company, says the effort aligns with the two-year-old "Just Ask a Local" campaign that uses more than 40 New York-based celebs like Robert DeNiro and Sean Combs to promote their neighborhoods. "And over the last three years we have spent a fair amount of time and energy developing and becoming experts in authentic local content," she tells Marketing Daily.
Ads will appear in outdoor media, the nycgo.com Web site, on digital properties and in The New York Times, where the organization will run a full-page ad kicking off the campaign on Nov. 23. There will also be a social media element on sites like Facebook and Twitter, and a new microsite at www.nycgo.com that focuses on each neighborhood with video and editorial content. And there will be a run of some 300,000 brochures detailing program elements, with half of those being inserted in issues of Time Out NY on Nov. 25.
A tie-in with "Twilight: New Moon" included a sweepstakes that gave 300 winners tickets to a screening on Wednesday night in Union Square. Sponsoring the sweepstakes and other marketing elements for the film, AT&T has been informing consumers about the QR (Quick Response) Code appearing on bus shelter ads and on the Extreme Local Web site. People could scan the code with a mobile phone for information about entering the contest. Reiss says some 6,000 people applied for the free tickets.
American Express is also supporting all participating neighborhood stores via promotions like a $50 statement credit for Cardmembers when their registered card is used for a total of $300 in purchases at three or more NYC Extreme Local businesses. And AT&T, YellowPages.com and American Express will sponsor a VIP party in early December that is also open to Amex Cardmembers. Finally, merchants will host late-night shopping parties Dec. 7 to Dec. 11 for Amex.
Reiss says the holiday season is a crucial tourism period as the prospect of a New York shopping spree brings in waves of tourists and gets locals out of the house and into neighborhoods they normally might not visit. "During this period, we see a 10% to 15% lift in visitors coming into the city on Black Friday," says Reiss. "This was a program designed specifically to kick off on Black Friday to capitalize on that energy."