From Borough to Broadway
From day one of Stepladder, I always dreamt of taking the business across the pond to New York City. I’ve always loved 'the city that never sleeps', the energy, the noise, the bright lights... the opportunity. This summer, nearly 11 years on, the Americans finally proved true to their word and gave in to the British accent (albeit with a Kent twang) and of course some bloody excellent creative.
For our first ever project Stateside, we have the privilege of creating a brand and communication strategy for something BIG and exciting; an impressive 1.5 million sq ft of commercial workspace in the heart of Midtown, Manhattan. The brief was one of repositioning. Our client, Brookfield, have grand plans to redevelop and essentially re-skin a building with a chequered past shall we say, and re-deliver it to the market as a shiny new office tower that any city would be proud of, not least Manhattan.
The building, originally known as ‘The Sixes’, owing to its address of 666 5th Avenue is a building you might recognise. It was originally an old school bankers hangout in the 90’s and has an infamous bar on the very top floor that has been used in many films, most recently a scene involving none other than Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street. Yes you know the one… "Ahh Humm… Ahh Humm!" Anyway, once finished, the goal is for this beautiful new tower to achieve some of the highest market rents in Manhattan, if not the world, so our strategy, brand and tactical launch will need to be top drawer to help our client achieve this.
The market is crowded right now in Manhattan and with ‘brand-new’ stock being delivered in slightly off-pitch locations, Hudson Yards being a prime example, our campaign will not only need to educate what a successful transformation the building has undergone but also sing loudly about the benefits of its ever evolving but slightly more traditional business location.
As I type this, we’re approximately six months into the project and the client is extremely happy with the results our agency have delivered so far. The brand is launched and as a team, we’re thoroughly loving this new adventure. Outside of the challenges we have overcome tactically on behalf of our client, we have also faced a few challenges of our own, mainly navigating our way through the subtle colloquial differences we have discovered. Here is a simple guide if you’re thinking of joining us out there anytime soon:
Emailers = eBlasts
Agents = Brokers
Recce = Scout
If an associate asks if its ok to ‘blow you off’ in regard to this Friday’s meeting… it doesn’t mean what it means in London! In summary, I have discovered (I can confirm) that the market, although subtly different, is largely very similar. I can safely say it’s one of the most open minded and collaborative environments we’ve ever worked in and outside of the red-eye flights, I’m absolutely loving the experience. In terms of Stepladder’s U.S. plans moving forward, we’re currently hiring in Manhattan and looking to grow our account management team. The creative will continue, as it is on other international accounts, to be serviced from London and we’re in talks with various new clients about exciting new instructions.
The project mentioned above is currently in its pre-letting phase and is expected to complete in 2022. For further updates, please keep an eye on Stepladder’s social channels.
– Posted by BR