UPDATE (March 4, 2016): New Yorkers loved the initial Street Easy campaign to such a degree that the clever visual style has been renewed for the next phase of the project. As you can see in the following images, the campaign’s updated focus/messaging is around the idea of “Find Your Formula”. It takes the same illustrative style and applies an “insiders equation” to help apartment dwellers find their perfect location/setup. Most of the humor only resonates with people familiar with the idiosyncrasies of various neighborhoods, resulting in a campaign that truly speaks to its target audience.
StreetEasy, a company that deals with selling, buying and renting properties in New York City, recently revealed their first marketing campaign called “Live As You Please” created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners New York. It’s extremely unique, reflecting the challenge of real estate in a city unlike any other.
Real estate advertising usually all looks very similar; whether it’s showing the property, the neighborhood, or the Realtor responsible for the listing. Street Easy didn’t stick by these “guidelines”. Instead, they created a marketing campaign that’s fresh, new and creative in a way that could only appeal to New Yorkers. Each image is intricate and styled in a way that you can’t quickly scan and dismiss.
“Every New Yorker can relate to the insanity of the city’s real estate environment and how challenging it can be to find a home,” said Susan Daimler, StreetEasy General Manager. “In this diverse city, buyers and renters have very different needs and want to live as they please. The campaign shows that StreetEasy brings much needed rationality and empathy to the process.” – StreetEasy
They aren’t trying to show you what you can have, or even what they have to offer you. Instead, they are showing that they understand where you’re living, what you’re dealing with and that you have specific wants and needs as a New Yorker. With people, food, clothing and other household items spread across the ads, they’re not designed for people driving past them on a billboard. They know their audience is on foot, standing, sitting or waiting on trains. They have time to absorb, to appreciate and to think.
As I stood on the train this past week I had time to really take in the ad in front of me. I saw all the details: the cup tipped over on the floor, the food squished on the table, the people crowded around the living room. My trip flew by as I got sucked into the details. These ads not only give you something to dissect on your commute to and from work — they are great at reflecting the way we live as New Yorkers. You begin to think of all the things you don’t like about your apartment and what you’d search for if you were looking for a new place. It’s their subtle way of creating a conversation without shoving it down your throat.
Let’s be honest, there are few situations in this city where the place you live is totally ideal. Unless you’re Taylor Swift and you have millions to spend on a penthouse.
For the rest of us, your bedroom window, if you have one, may face a wall. Or maybe you’re paying over $1,000 a month for a room that’s actually a closet. It happens more than you think. There’s even a website dedicated to the most insane New York apartment listings on Craigslist. While some people have apartments with huge bedrooms, others have to carefully position their twin bed in a place that still lets them open the door. Some have 5 roommates and others live alone. It’s one of the most unpredictable things in this city, but one that everyone is aware of.
This type of marketing and advertising is exciting and vital to see. It’s breaking through boundaries and presenting themselves in a way to make people think, feel and want to interact with their brand and online services. We were all mesmerized by the ads as soon as they appeared, talking about it at lunch and comparing notes about what we loved. They knew their target market and really hit the nail on the head.
Marketing to New Yorkers is a unique challenge. We’re constantly being bombarded with advertising in the form of subway ads, billboards, videos and even print materials being waved in our face on the sidewalk. Being able to stand out among the masses is a hard thing to do, and focusing on something we all have in common is a great way to make us pay attention.