Central Park Comes Alive With the Voices of Whoopi Goldberg, Hank Azaria and Other Celebs

By Kyle O'Brien 

Central Park is New York’s beautifully landscaped backyard and while it may seem to function autonomously, it requires careful upkeep. The groundskeeper in chief for the 843-acre area is the nonprofit Central Park Conservancy, which provides upkeep for the entire park. To raise awareness and funds for the Conservancy, Pereira O’Dell crafted a campaign using New York celebrities to voice various features in the park.

“The Park Needs Us” intends to raise awareness not only of the Conservancy’s role in the Park, but also the critical role that the public plays in keeping the nonprofit buoyant.

40 years ago, the City of New York entrusted the management of the park to the Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit entrusted with making sure the park remains, clean, beautiful, free and open to all every day. The organization cares for the park by tending to maintenance and restoration details large and small while seeking ways to nurture a park that welcomes 42 million visitors each year while funded primarily by individual donations.


To capture the attention of New Yorkers, the campaign gives a voice to different park features. In one spot, Hank Azaria voices the Great Lawn, telling how he, as the lawn, needs so much work from the Conservancy to stay great, not just good.

Another ad finds Whoopi Goldberg voicing the Bethesda Fountain, urging people to send their funds to the Conservancy rather than just tossing in a few coins.

Patricia Clarkson voices the Bow Bridge, where many people have taken a knee to propose over the picturesque pond in Central Park.

Future spots will feature the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Wu Han of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Eduardo Vilaro of the Ballet Hispanico.

“As the non-profit that cares for all aspects of the park, the Central Park Conservancy is grateful to all the familiar voices who have generously brought the Park to life in this campaign,”Mary Caraccioli, chief communications officer, Central Park Conservancy said in a statement. “We hope it leads to more people getting involved with the Conservancy’s efforts by joining, volunteering and supporting our work.”

New Yorkers will see and hear the campaign this spring and summer primarily through connected TV and online video, streaming audio, digital banners and paid social videos and posts.

A visual identity refresh by design agency Pentagram has led to a signage refresh throughout the park, including developing 22 unique kiosks with location-specific messaging detailing how each part of the park needs the public’s help.

Everyone who worked on the campaign, most of whom are local New Yorkers, donated time or equipment, and provided vastly discounted rates to help raise awareness of the Central Park Conservancy and its mission to keep Central Park beautiful.

“There are few institutions that represent the stories of New York City quite like the iconic Central Park. It’s captured in our personal lives, in culture, in history. It’s been an incredible journey seeing and sharing how deeply the Central Park Conservancy cares for the park through their efforts to keep it vibrant and full of life, even in the toughest of times,” Pereira O’Dell managing director Mona Gonzalez said in a statement.


Client: The Central Park Conservancy

President and CEO – Betsy Smith

Chief Communications Officer – Mary Caraccioli

Senior Director, Digital Experience – Tricia Kang

Director, Marketing – Rob Smy

Director of Video Production – Harry Hunkele

Art Director – Sol Salgar

Associate Director of Content – Pamela Hernandez

Copywriter— Kaitlyn Zafonte

Director of Communications Admin — Arica VanBoxtel


Creative & Media Agency: Pereira O’Dell

Creative Chairman, Co-founder – PJ Pereira

Chief Creative Officer – Robert Lambrechts

Executive Creative Director – Nick Sonderup

Creative Director – Jordan Young

Associate Creative Director – Zach Buckner

Associate Creative Director – Erynn Mattera

Design Director – Somchai Perry

Studio Manager – Evan Zelermyer

Director of Production – Veronica Beach

Senior Producer – Bridget Pierce

Senior Project Manager – Melanie Christian

Director of Business Affairs – Tamika Knight

Business Affairs Manager – Nancy Espinal

Business Affairs Coordinator — Lenny Campbell

Managing Director – Mona Gonzalez

Group Brand Director – Julia Morrissey

Brand Manager – Ciara Cristo

Director of Strategy – Tom Naughton

Brand Strategy Director – Kira Loretto

Director of Communications Strategy – Ashley Wells

Communications Strategy Director – Breanne Brock

Media Director – Brian Starks

Associate Media Planner – Niko Santore

SEO/SEM specialist – Christine Vagues

Design Agency: Pentagram Design

Partner, Michael Beiruit

Associate Partner – Katie Rominger

Project Manager – Abby Matousek


Talent & Agents

Whoopi Goldberg

Tom Leonardis – Whoop, Inc.

Brad Cafarelli – Full Coverage Communications

Stephanie Suski – Whoop, Inc.

Ally Goldberg – Full Coverage Communications


Hank Azaria

Caroline Weber – Independent Public Relations

Jodi Gottlieb – Independent Public Relations

Nadia Ahmadein – Independent Public Relations


Patricia Clarkson

Peter Barry


Kristen Bell

Hannah Ryan – “Central Park” Showrunners’ Assistant

Ana Ayala


Josh Gad

Hannah Ryan – “Central Park” Showrunners’ Assistant

Lindsey Faig

Taylor Stuewe –  Creative Executive at Angry Child Productions


Eduardo Vilaro

Michelle Tabnick


Wu Han

Frank Impelluso

Beth Helgeson


Waving Cat

Kara Estow

Jeff Estow



HunterPark Production

Director – Ezra Hurwitz

Executive Producer – Bethanie Schwartz & Lauren Tuttman

Steadicam op – Kyle Fasanella

Production Supervisor Liam Christoffers

1st AC – Anna O’ Carrol

PA – Alberto Varagas


Production Equipment

Godfred Sedano

Handheld Films


Record, Mix, Sound Design

Audio Post: Heard City

Audio Mixer/s: Seth Phillips, Jeremy Siegel, Evan Anderson

Assistant Engineer/s: Ronnie Stapleton, Seth Brogdon, Tom Morris

Managing Director/Partner: Gloria Pitagorsky

Executive Producers: Sasha Awn, Jackie James

Producer: Andi Lewis

Assistant Producer: Nick Duvarney


Editorial – Cosmo Street 

Executive Producer – Yvette Cobarrubias

“Bethesda Fountain” :30 Editor – Justin Trovato

“Great Lawn” :30 Editor – Andrew Corrales

“Bow Bridge” :30 and all Social – Chris Rentie

GFX and Conform – Evan Nix

Producer – Jasmine Henry


Color Grade – Apache

Artist – Quinn Alvarez