- Friday, Jun. 22, 2007
While many New Yorkers may feel they live in a closet, a new humorous integrated campaign for Newport Associates Development Corp. introduces us to a family who actually does because of the high cost of NYC real estate. At a new microsite, www.newportnj.com, created with Woods Witt Dealy & Sons, New York, we meet Bob and Cindy. After the couple's first child was born, Cindy's rent-controlled building was converted into condos, forcing the family to move. Manhattan prices had skyrocketed but heading to the suburbs was unthinkable. Making the ultimate sacrifice, they moved into a spacious walk-in closet in Bob's parents' Upper East side apartment, which visitors are invited to explore on the site. There they can also watch the five funny spots that are also part of the campaign, or link to the main Newport site to learn about the Jersey City, N. J development. "The client came to us because they want New Yorkers to think about moving there when they have needs for greater space and they feel like they are spending too much for their apartment," said Harry Woods, chief creative officer/copywriter at the agency.
They needed to remove the stigma associated with moving to New Jersey. "We simplified the problem down to what the basic needs are of anybody living in Manhattan, which is usually more space. The target audience was families between 25 and 45. It's usually the arrival of the first or second child that really precipitates the need for another bedroom or two and as we all know living in Manhattan, that is when the cost of your apartment increases exponentially," Woods said.
Newport and the agency agreed that the creative should be humorous to generate a buzz. The client wanted to have a presence on TV for the first time, specifically New York 1, but was unaware of the marketing potential of a microsite. "They already had a website dedicated to the development, but they didn't have a good understanding of how you can use traditional media like TV to drive people to a microsite, something that is more entertaining that gets them to spend more time with the brand. And that is what we turned them onto," Woods related.
The agency created the website in house, ensuring that the creative worked across platforms. Speaking of the creative, Woods and Gill Witt, chief creative officer/art director, who did a lot of the Flash work, knew they wanted to broadcast a "whole bunch of content" on the microsite. But they had to do it within the budget constraints of shooting one commercial for New York 1. So they did something they never did before--they directed the spots themselves. "So instead of having one commercial to run on New York 1, we ended up having five spots that we could serve up on the website. The client fell in love with the spots and they are going to rotate them on New York 1 as well," Woods said.
To stick to their budget and to a one-day shoot schedule, they had to run a pretty tight ship. So they built in a full day of rehearsal ahead of shooting so they could really get to know the talent. They also spent a lot of time in casting. "We are big believers in if you cast it right, you really don't have to do much when you get there," Woods said. "And I must add we had a marvelous crew."
They worked with production company Trip Media in New York. Brian Jackson was the DP; executive producer was Sal Del Guidice and line producer was Sydney Fisher.
In one of the spots we see a close-up of Bob and Cindy discussing who will pick up Timmy and the dry cleaning and what to eat for dinner. As the camera zooms out, we see the two walk out of a closet, Timmy in tow, into a bedroom where Bob's parents are in bed. They cheerfully greet the family and remind them rent is due. A teaser reads: "Get more out of New York. Move to New Jersey."
The humorous nature of the campaign is creating the buzz they had hoped for. Newport's web hits quadrupled in just three days. "And people are staying longer so that means the microsite is working. We're not just getting quick hit brand impression but we are getting people to develop a relationship with it, which is what I think we have to do to break down the stigma, which was the original big piece of the strategy," related Woods.
The client is so excited about the campaign that there is an idea on the table to start to get Manhattanites to provide user-generated content about the size of their apartments. Stay tuned.
Client Newport Associates Development Corporation Agency Woods Witt Dealy and Sons Harry Woods, Gill Witt, chief creative officers and creative directors; Harry Woods, copywriter; Gill Witt, art director; Robert Farber, producer; Phyllis Dealy, account manager Production Trip Media, New York Harry Woods & Gill Witt, directors; Brian Jackson, DP; Sal Del Giudice, executive producer; Sydney Fisher, line producer Editorial P.S. 260, New York JJ Lask, editor; Zarina Mac, exec. producer Music Beta Petrol, Los Angeles Bryan Ray Turrott, producer Audio Mix Color, New York