NYC Tourism Campaign Wants Locals to ‘See Your City’

Posters encourage exploring the five boroughs

Headshot of Erik Oster

NYC & Company, the marketing and tourism arm of New York City, is setting its sights on New Yorkers, urging them to get out of the house and explore the city's five boroughs.

Created in-house, the three-month "See Your City" campaign uses posters, video and microsite to call out "must see" attractions for locals. The microsite showcases 10 neighborhoods, two from each of the boroughs, including Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, Harlem in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens and St. George in Staten Island.

"See Your City" points to the culinary diversity of Jackson Heights, touting it as "how you say 'foodie' in over 30 languages," which harkens back to episodes of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations where he explored the diverse culinary landscapes of Queens and Staten Island.

The push also positions both Long Island City and Brooklyn's Dumbo as ideal locations to view the Manhattan skyline and champions Hell's Kitchen as a "throwback to the Manhattan of yesteryear." Some locations, such as Van Cortlandt Park and the Staten Island Greenbelt, are offered up as nearby escapes from the hustle and bustle of urban living. Others, such as Carroll Gardens and Harlem, are presented as shopping and dining hotspots.

The campaign, which is sponsored by American Express, draws visual inspiration from vintage travel posters, which Emily Lessard, creative director of NYC & Company, said was an attempt to "reframe the familiar as foreign and idealized" in an attempt to sell New York City to New Yorkers.

"See Your City" also includes taxi cab commercials and frequent posts on NYC & Company's social channels as well as AmEx's digital channels. AmEx also is promoting the effort through an offer that gives cardholders a chance to register their cards, use them to spend $50 or more at one of 61 participating locations and receive a $10 statement credit.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.