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01/29/2013:  NYC: The City That Never Stops (Advertising)

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New York City is overwhelming on many levels. So many people, skyscrapers, taxi cabs, restaurants, and — as clearly evidenced in Times Square — advertisements.

On my visit last fall, I was taken aback by the volume of messages I saw, everywhere I turned. I didn’t believe that consumers see between 300 and 5,000 messages each day– until I walked down West 42nd St. and was met with the commercial capital of the world: Times Square.

While the ads in Times Square are sure to be seen by millions of tourists everyday, I had to wonder, does anyone really see them? Looking back, I couldn’t tell you what one ad was actually promoting.

Like many other consumers, I have gotten pretty skilled at tuning out all the advertising noise (Hello, TiVo!). So how do marketers grab our attention?

Interaction
The one ad I do remember is an interactive webcam transmitting fellow Times Square goers on screen. Wanting my 5 minutes of fame, I made sure to make my way on camera. There was even an interactive beach ball on screen to top it all off. Interactivity helps break up the monotony of the everyday and forces participation and awareness.

Personalization
Had there been a personalized message, say, with my name scrolling across like the NASDAQ ticker, I would have snapped to attention. Unfortunately, there was no special ‘Dear Kendra Komejan’ message, and as such, no ad made a lasting impression. Everyone loves to feel like they are special and unique; worthy of being spoken to directly.

While NYC may be one of the country’s most ad-saturated cities, it’s advertisements failed to really hold my attention or make a substantial mark on my memory. Sorry to disappoint the countless ad agencies in the city…!

What types of ads do you typically remember? Are there specific advertisements that have made an impact on you?

About Kendra Komejan
Kendra Komejan

Kendra is a Marketing and Public Relations Intern for Bluewater. She recently returned from a semester studying in London, England and is entering her senior year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities (Sorry Kelli, but ‘SKI-U-MAH’!). She is looking forward to learning more about marketing with the Bluewater team and loves traveling, baking delicious desserts, and Mexican food.

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