‘I ♥ New York’ : Serving exquisite delicacies from the Big Apple since 1977.

 

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One of the most widely distributed and imitated images in the world, the “I Love New York’’ Logo has become so common that other countries have come up with a similar version of the logo for their metro cities.

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Well, if we dig in the past we would see that New York City in 1970s was in an extremely bad shape. Crime was at an all-time high, companies were facing bankruptcy and tourism hit an all-time low. To give an impetus to the tourism industry and restore the faith and confidence of the people living in surrounding states, the government came up with a comprehensive 5 year marketing plan under the ambit of ‘I Love New York’ campaign with an objective to sell the most lucrative and attractive sights which the city offered ranging from the Broadway to its picturesque skyscrapers.

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The above image is Milton Glaser’s original pencil sketch for the now-iconic I ♥ NY logo campaign which was subsequently transformed into the digital template which we see today.

Star studded advertising, a slogan and a television commercial highlighting Broadway theater, the campaign in its initial year itself was a huge success.
When the NYC was devastated after the 9/11 terror attacks, the campaign was modified to instill a sense of pride and belongingness among the New Yorkers and to broadcast the hidden message that no level of terrorist activity can ever deter the love which people shared for the Big Apple. The logo now said ‘I NY MORE THAN EVER’ with a heart that carried some bruises.

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You can see the TV commercial on YouTube that was released after 9/11:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTwBXnDmc5E

From time to time, the campaign has been modified in accordance with the changes in NYC’s economic, political as well as social environment. Presently, the campaign is active on variety of social media platforms ( Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and even runs a website and a mobile application.

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Recently, the team of ♥ NY has initiated some extremely innovative campaigns round the globe to reach out to a wider audience and project the city with the perspective of those living in it. Let’s have a look at a few brilliant ones:

  • ‘Another Reason to Love New York’: Another reason, serves as a connection (bridge) between an amazing fact, truth, area, site, monument or wonder that is uniquely New York State and the beloved logo that identifies it. Citing reasons that will make anyone fall in love with the NYC, the campaign successfully touched the hearts of millions.v7
    • ‘Discover Your Heart’: With Iconic New York images and a catchy slogan, the campaign motivated people across the world to visit the city and fall in love with the places that would touch their hearts for sure.v8
      Seasonal Logos: From season to season, the trademark logo keeps on changing showing the autumn fall or the winter snow. Thus, the campaign remains active throughout the year offering something new in every season.

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      • Follow your campaign : New Yorkers were approached and encouraged to draw what they loved about the New York State and replace it with the heart in the logo of I  . In a short span of time, the campaign witnessed over 900 consumers declaring their love for New York State and a twitter promoted trend (#followyourheartNY), resulting in the soaring popularity of the campaign.v9

      In the field of Destination Marketing, this campaign has surely proved to be the trendsetter and an inspiration for the rest of the countries. The success of ‘I Love NY’  can be measured by the fast growing tourism sector in the New York State, adding more residents and visitors to the city and contributing an average annual share of approximately $1.5 billion or 2.7% of the State’s  Gross Regional Product.
      Transformation of a place into a brand is challenging, but if successfully executed can provide long term fruits for both tourism and business.

      India, in spite of having launched similar campaigns like ‘Incredible India’; the success and effectiveness of such programs have been limited.  A widespread and a well-planned campaign which develops the sense of pride among the citizens need to be initiated by the government. Such a campaign should be innovated continuously so that it keeps pace with time and never fails to lure people across the world just like I NY. No doubt a lot can be learned and applied from the success story of Big Apple to the Indian scenario.

      Image Courtesy: iloveny.com ,  Google Images

      By Vaibhav Agarwal

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