Empty store as new media opportunities

hsbc2The New York landscape has, for many years, been dominated by the financial industry, and the impact of the current financial meltdown can be seen on every street corner.

While many retailers have struggled or shut down, HSBC’s media team saw opportunity. Three years ago, JWT launched HSBC’s “Different points of view” campaign, which covered New York with “scaffolding” advertising. This was the first time a major brand had used the ever present scaffolding of NYC as an advertising medium, and it was very effective at creating huge impact for little cost.

hsbc1Since then, the city has banned the use of scaffolding for advertising. Realizing that street presence is really important to “the world’s local bank,” the media team looked for alternatives. It turned out that the owners of empty retail spaces were more than willing to rent us their storefronts to run our new HSBC creative—and with so many spaces available, we had our pick of the best foot-traffic locations for significantly less than conventional media vehicles.

1 Responses to “Empty store as new media opportunities”


  • The landscape of NYU’s campus in the West Village has changed drastically during my four years of school. Since we are lacking a “campus” in the traditional sense of the word I pass countless retail storefronts going to and from class every day.
    Today, many of these stores are closed… or they have “Going out of Business” signs in their windows signaling their inevitable doom. These blank store fronts have definitely put a damper on my senior year. Seeing these empty windows day after day serve as constant reminders of the terrible crisis we are in and the state of job market I will enter in two months.
    I think putting ads in empty windows is a great idea. First of all, it’s good for all the businesses involved (Whoot Whoot). Second, on a more personal level, these ads are a morale booster. If had had a choice between EVEN MORE advertisements in this ad saturated city or empty store fronts I would opt for ads. Ads are creative, colorful, fun, and may even get you to crack a smile. I would rather look at a deserted retail space and smile than be reminded of better times gone by :)

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