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Bluewater Blog

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


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?

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.

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 MaKenzie Wangsness
MaKenzie Wangsness

MaKenzie is Bluewater's Digital Marketing Manager. Spending several years in sales and marketing roles at a local franchise level, MaKenzie has a unique appreciation for bringing big brand power to the local level. In her spare time, MaKenzie can be found near good food (in Minneapolis restaurants or her own kitchen!) or spending time with her awesome husband and baby daughter Jovi.

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