Looking for a high-traffic, high-profile location for a PR event? Try Times Square Studios, the street-level home to ABC's Good Morning America.Volvo chose the venue to celebrate its 75th anniversary. In mere hours, the GMA set was transformed into the perfect PR venue, complete with a stage for performances by host Jon Stewart and, later, Suzanne Vega and Sugar Ray. The party ended at 10:30pm, and the set was cleared out, cleaned up, and rebuilt for GMA in the morning.
If only things had gone as smoothly during the party ...
The big PR stunt of the night was to welcome Irv Gordon, a retired Long Island schoolteacher who'd hit two million miles on his Volvo upon entering Times Square. But he got stuck in traffic for 45 minutes, and the sidewalk crowd decided it could linger no longer.
But the musical acts took the stage shortly after Irv arrived, and the sidewalk crowd swelled again as Sugar Ray blasted their catchy pop hits through Times Square.
Once again, all seemed to be going according to plan before lead singer Mark McGrath leapt off the stage to sing before adoring fans relegated to the sidewalk. On his sprint back to the stage, however, he accidentally barreled into a dazed Volvo employee, sending both men - and a glass of red wine - to the ground. (Neither was wearing a seatbelt, but no one was hurt.)
While the event was largely judged a success, Volvo may have received its best plugs unintentionally: New York City traffic proved to be not as reliable - and rock stars certainly not as safe - as a Volvo.