Yes, Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, yet large portions of New York are still far from being rebuilt. Those in New York are aware of this, but those of us in flyover country have, let’s be real, almost completely forgotten about the destruction wrought by the storm only a few weeks ago. Sorry, but it’s true.
So, how do you get Midwest hicks like me to care about helping New York’s disaster relief efforts? Well, one winning strategy would be having a bunch of celebrities tell me that I should care. You see, I find it hard to relate to those people in the Rockaways who lost their homes and more during Hurricane Sandy. However, I love celebrities, and there’s nothing more terrible to me than seeing a movie star look really sad. Deutsch NY and the New York State Governor’s office know these things, which is why they’ve produced a cavalcade of the most New York-y New York-based celebs to tell me that they need my help. If you for one minute thought that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro wouldn’t be in this spot (shot over a weekend) after seeing the title of this post, you are a stupid person.
Joining De Niro and Pacino is this PSA for the Empire Relief Fund are people like Michael J. Fox, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Buscemi, the last of which is a great casting decision as he always looks kind of sad. For those who need their ads cut down to 30-second bite-sized portions in order to be convinced to give money, here’s exactly that. And, for those of you who have been sufficiently convinced to donate to the cause, visit ReliefNY.org to give. Credits and another PSA after the jump.
The state of New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo tapped BBDO NY for the above TV spot, “The New New York, a Whole New Approach to Business.” And, before you pushed play, you could probably guess what celeb they got to narrate the spot, who they got to direct it, and what pop song they selected for its soundtrack.
Yes, Robert DeNiro, Spike Lee and Jay-Z are definitely the most New Yorkiest New Yorkers in all of New York-dom. Now, I’m not criticizing BBDO for going with the most obvious choices here. In fact, the spot would probably feel incomplete without DeNiro’s gruff voice and “Empire State of Mind” playing against shots of the New York City skyline. Not including DeNiro and Jay would be like the city of Chicago shooting a similar spot and not asking Vince Vaughn and Kanye West to take part. Sorry, Chicagoans, but you know that’s what would inevitably happen.
The spot is part of a state-driven $50 million business marketing campaign that, among other things, includes a $5 million contest to redesign the iconic “I ❤ NY” logo. Needless to say, some people in the media aren’t too fond of this initiative. Regardless, it’s a big win for BBDO, whose president and CEO John Osborn says in a statement, “We are a New York state business and have been here for over 100 years. We know what New York has to offer. So we wanted to create a campaign with a pace and energy that captures, celebrates and reinforces the State’s renewed focus on the business community. At the same time we wanted to demonstrate the depth and breadth of business services that New York State offers.”