Posts by William Charnock - New York

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.

Three-star recession special: Dinner at Jean-Georges for only $58

jeangeorges_wcNew York has the largest single-city economy in the United States and the second largest in the world (after Tokyo). And according to The New York Times, in 2006 almost half of all wages paid in Manhattan were paid to employees in the financial services industry. So you can imagine the impact that the current financial crisis is having on the city that never sleeps.

Even the ultra rich are feeling the pinch. Just this week, a number of high-end restaurants added “recesssion specials” to their menus. Jean-Georges, the three-star Michelin Guide restaurant, is offering a $58 four-course dinner option and “half glasses of wine.”

As Jean-Georges Vongerichten himself says, “I sometimes think of my $58 chef’s selection menu as ‘The Obama Special.’ No, it’s not a $787 billion stimulus package for the national economy, but it’s my way of bringing some cheer to this depression. Bon appetit!”