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NYC –The Advertising City!

The big apple. The city that never sleeps. Both comments so accurate.

I visited New York City last week for a Valentine’s break and was amazed by the vast advertising opportunities and the style of them in comparison to the UK. Think of the lights at Piccadilly Circus, it was like that, but bigger and everywhere. A digital revolution.

I boarded Norweigan Airway and when I arrived at JFK, I hopped on the Airbus to Jamaican Street and got the subway to Penn Station. Looking like typical tourists with our luggage and no idea how to use the ticket machine, we got speaking with a genuine New Yorker who advised us to get a metro card and take the ‘4th block’. We got out the station and my mouth dropped.

The bright lights, the hustle and bustle and a city oozing with different types of businesses from American diners, Taco Vans, Mexican restaurants, Bronx rap artists selling albums on Broadway and the high end designers on 5th Avenue just amazed me and I knew I was in for a fun and exciting trip!

We checked in at Hotel Edison on 48th Street, 8th Avenue within walking distance of Times Square. The perfect location and all thanks to U&I Concierge for booking.

At this point a Starbucks was essential! (Which by the way are located on almost every corner and are 10x bigger than the UK Starbucks, including the actual size of the coffee itself!)

Everywhere we went, it was lovely to be reminded of Valentine’s Day.

A seasonal promotion is so important for your audience because Marketing is all about Customer psychology and relating to their thought process. I was thinking about Valentine’s, so I was more inclined to visit the bars/restaurants advertising this event.


We decided to go shopping and during our walk to 5th Avenue, I couldn’t help but feel that NYC was directing me where to shop. According to advertising brand JCDecaux,New York has 3,300 shelters and 300 digital news stands to advertise in, providing advertisers with over 450 million weekly impressions”. This is without the amount of A-boards, billboards, Guerilla and Experiential marketing also available.

New York did not seem like a place for independent retailers. It appeared to be a city with a lot of money and a place where only big name brands could afford to advertise.

The wide roads, humungous buildings and plenty of things to see and do lead us to several coffee breaks, enjoyed with big sugary snacks in traditional Pizza Cafes, Dunkin Donut’s and Bakeries. It is no surprise bigger butts are a ‘thing’ in the US!

We visited Macy’s, the world’s largest department store and with my Marketing eye, I couldn’t believe Dior’s latest Poison Campaign had taken 6 front exterior store windows, a display in store and a LED hover light outside the front door.

Inevitably Dior has the Marketing Budget to advertise in Macy’s, but it lead me to think about the companies that didn’t have this type of budget and couldn't afford digital advertising within the city.

Throughout my stay, I came across local eateries trying to deliver PR and on street flyering, however in my opinion, this was an ineffective approach for this fast paced city. No one has time to stop and talk. It was merely a brand awareness strategy either, because you do not have time to even look at the branding associated with the PR.

So, whilst eating my Pizza in the friendlist little café called ‘Patzeria’ in Manhattan, I looked out the window and amongst all the people and lights, I realised that advertising here is so competitive and for an independent business to stand out they would need to deploy a much more personal approach, like Mobile advertising.

Mobile Advertising is coming and fast.

Whilst updating my clients social media accounts in Wi-fi hotspots, I found that the adverts being displayed to me on Facebook and Instagram were those from New York because my iPhone knows my location. I also explored the trending topics on Twitter, for me to find only those from the US media such as Basketball news, Trump news and more.

With Digital skill sets us Marketers are able to target a specific demographic in terms of age, location and interests, which is far more direct and personal than advertising on a gigantic digital billboard in one location. Although this is gaining millions of impressions, it may not be from the right audience.

According to Adweek, Internet ad revenue hit $60 billion in 2015.

The benefit of mobile advertising for businesses, is that there are wider opportunities such as Chat functions, short video options such as Periscope and Snapchat, Facebook advertising and SMS marketing.

After 5 days in the city, I found myself becoming accustomed to the advertising and not taking much notice, which I'm sure has happened to plenty of other New Yorkers already.

The future of Digital Advertising is about to change. Get mobile.

Speak to GEMMEDIA about your Mobile Strategy.

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