NEW YORK: NYC & Co., New York's marketing, travel, and tourism organization, kicked off Smurf's Week, a five-day event to increase family summer travel throughout the city.
In anticipation of The Smurfs movie release on July 29, NYC & Co. partnered with Sony Entertainment Pictures to promote the film and increase awareness of city destinations through events, contests, and social media outreach.
“Smurfs Week is part of our fully integrated marketing campaign to support the Smurfs, who are our 'family ambassadors' for the summer and part of our Get More program,” said Marnie Baretz, VP of marketing for NYC & Co.
The Smurfs are the third set of family ambassadors to encourage summer travel as part of the Get More NYC campaign, following Dora the Explorer last year, and Sesame Street in 2009. The program provides promotions and savings to New York residents and visitors for numerous activities and destinations, including Broadway shows, restaurants, and museums.
With an internal communications, marketing, and creative team of 35 people, NYC & Co. spread the Smurfs Week message to the public through various media platforms. In traditional media, the organization reached out to news outlets and promoted the event on phone kiosks, street poles, and bus shelters. Digitally, the organization created a “dedicated microsite” on NYCgo.com that keeps fans updated with events for the week.
Facebook and Twitter are also two important outreach platforms.
Baretz said the organization wanted to reach people who are walking through the city, as well as those who are perusing digital channels.
“Social media plays a huge role across all of our campaigns,” she added.
Another important digital feature for the initiative was the use of Quick Response (QR) codes, barcodes that are scanned by phones or cameras that have a QR app. People who scanned the NYC & Co. QR codes were automatically entered into the Smurfs Week sweepstakes for tickets to the “blue carpet” movie premiere last Sunday.
Throughout the rest of the week, NYC & Co. will be hosting events across the city for children and adults, such as a Smurfs coloring book session at the Brooklyn Children's Museum and cartoon strip displays at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art.
“What's unique is we really worked with fantastic city organizations and they have created their own Smurf activities to support Smurfs Week,” Baretz said.