As New York City slowly reawakens from the pandemic’s economic blow, downtown Manhattan wants people to know that it has more to offer than its famous financial district.
The Downtown Alliance launched “Do You. Downtown,” on Monday, a campaign created by Forsman & Bodenfors NY to encourage people to explore all that downtown Manhattan has to offer beyond Wall Street, including restaurants, tourist attractions, retail stores and a vibrant arts scene.
The campaign includes contextual out of home placements in Lower Manhattan and commuter hubs in Greater New York. The ads appear on more than 230 lampposts and Big Belly trash cans, with creative promoting small businesses and local attractions.
“Do You. Downtown” spotlights local businesses like the Mysterious Bookshop, public art installations like the Red Cube at 140 Broadway and restaurants ranging from local dive bars to Michelin-starred eateries.
Historical points of interest are also highlighted, including Barthman’s Clock, a historical timepiece embedded into the sidewalk in Lower Manhattan, and Alexander Hamilton’s grave, promoted with the tagline, “Do Hamilton without a ticket.”
"Our creative strategy was to be as specific as possible to paint a vivid picture of the neighborhood,” Matt Creamer, co-head of creative at F&B NY, told Campaign US. “It doesn't get any more specific than our contextual approach: placing eye-catching executions with bold type and headlines just steps away from the attractions they promote. So people walking around Lower Manhattan would be aware of the splendors, literally, around the corner or across the street."
People can experience the campaign socially by following Downtown Alliance’s Instagram page.
The campaign is also targeting people musically. “Do You. Downtown” Spotify playlists will inspire people to explore the neighborhood. “Dock Rocks,” for instance, has nautical-themed songs pegged to the South Street Seaport. “Spirit of Revolution” goes back in time for revolutionary inspiration at Hamilton’s grave. And “As Above, So Below” reflects the views of The Oculus and the World Trade Center.
“Do You. Downtown” was of particular interest to Stagwell’s Forsman & Bodenfors NY, which recently opened its new office space in 1 World Trade Center. The neighborhood is also home to Spotify, Condé Nast, tech startups, financial services firms and other media companies and advertising agencies.
“F&B NY now calls Lower Manhattan home,” Creamer said. “We want to see the area thrive and get the credit it deserves for its array of restaurants and bars, its shopping options, its iconic sights, as well as the innovative, creative businesses that call it home. Lower Manhattan is truly the crossroads of history and the future.”