NEW YORK WRITES ITSELF by Leo Burnett Chicago for Village Voice

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Industry Newspapers
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Direct marketing, Case study
Market United States
Agency Leo Burnett Chicago
Creative Director Kieran Antill, Michael Canning
Producer Juan Woodbury.
Released June 2012


Cannes Lions 2012
Branded content & entertaiment lions Best use or integration of user-generated content Gold
Direct Lions Ambient Media (Large Scale) Bronze
PR Lions Best Use of Social Media Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Use of Direct Marketing
Category: Ambient Media (Large Scale)
DM/Advertising Agency: LEO BURNETT NEW YORK, USA
Chief Creative Officer: Jay Benjamin (Leo Burnett NY)
Creative Director: Kieran Antill (Leo Burnett NY)
Creative Director: Michael Canning (Leo Burnett NY)
Creative Director/Community: Max Goodwin (Leo Burnett NY)
Publisher Village Voice: Josh Fromson (Village Voice)
President And COO Village Voice Media: Scott Tobias (Village Voice)
Marketing Director Village Voice: Rosemary Raposo (Village Voice)
Promotions/Marketing Manager Village Voice: Christina Pettit (Village Voice)
Web Editor/Village Voice: Nick Greene (Village Voice)
Online Operations Associate Manager: Tara Mcguiness (Village Voice)
Managing Director: Tom Flanagan (Leo Burnett NY)
Executive Producer: Jeremy Fox (Leo Burnett NY)
Artist: (The Keystone Design Union)
Artist: (Center For The Book Arts)
Artist: (Swayspace)
Artist: (Tarhorse Press)
Artist: (Peter Kruty Editions)
Production: (Radical Media)
Editors: (Beast/Nice Shoes)
Producer: Juan Woodbury (Leo Burnett Chicago)
Describe the brief from the client
The Village Voice has a heritage of capturing the real, uncensored voice of New York. Our brief was to re-connect people with the Village Voice as the editorial channel that captures this real voice of the city. And at the same time, re-establish it as a go-to source of New York arts and culture.
New York Writes Itself has created an entirely new platform of crowd-sourced content for the brand, and a new connection with New York’s arts and culture community, by creating a new channel of arts and culture itself. New York Writes Itself acts as a direct invitation to New Yorkers to submit the great things they hear on the streets – creating a city wide platform of crowd sourced content. This type of platform is an entirely new space for an editorial brand to occupy, and has proved that the Village Voice captures the real, uncensored voice of New York.
Describe the creative solution to the brief/objective.
Our creative solution was to capture these great quotes heard on the street, and bring them to life as the real, uncensored voice of New York. Introducing ‘New York Writes Itself’ – We began by creating a platform inviting New Yorkers to write down the great things they hear people say on the streets. We then collaborated with New York letterpress artists to re-create the most popular submissions letter by letter. The idea re-connected Village Voice with the city’s arts and culture community, as a manifestation of the brands commitment to delivering the real, uncensored voice of New York.
Describe the results in as much detail as possible.
New York Writes Itself’ was a hugely successful piece of branded content:
-24m media impressions to date
-Exhibition had a record attendance the Art Directors Club
-2m unique visits to
-52 articles of earned media including NY Times and CBS News.
-New York Writes Itself has made such a strong cultural impact, Village Voice has made it a permanent piece of its arts and culture content – An Off-Broadway play and comedy series are currently in production for 2012.
-Created an entirely new platform of content curated by the Village Voice.