The agency will work on New York’s first ever global comms campaign, operating the UK account for the £15m-plus project that was unveiled by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week.
The campaign, which includes advertising and marketing as well as comms, is designed to take advantage of favourable exchange rates and lower fares from budget airlines. It aims initially to
increase visitors by the end of the year, allowing them to take advantage of the favourable conditions for budget Christmas shopping.
Hills Balfour is then charged with encouraging visitors to travel in the first quarter of 2008 – usually a low period for travel between the UK and New York.
New York attracts 1.17 million British visitors each year, making it the most popular US destination for travelling Brits. But the city itself has come under scrutiny in the last 12 months, with Bloomberg admitting it was falling behind London in the contest to become ‘the world’s number one city’.
Hills Balfour will promote the strapline ‘This is New York City’, and emphasise the improvements to New York’s tourism website, nycvisit.com. The website now allows visitors to ‘create a New York City experience’, choosing the restaurants, destinations and shopping options for their trip.
Hills Balfour account director Ryan Levitt heads the account.
‘This is the first time New York City has attempted a global campaign,’ said Levitt. ‘Previously New York State implemented the famous “I love New York” campaign featuring the logo with the heart in the phrase.’
The complete campaign is across ten European destinations, with Britain being the most lucrative in terms of visitor numbers.
Speaking last week, Bloomberg said: ‘We want the rest of the world to know that our doors are open and there is something here for everyone to enjoy.’