grand central has 60 shops and 35 dining options under one magnificent roof. and it’s our job to make sure people know it. joining forces with some of the city’s finest retail and architectural photographers, we shot all the edible and shop-able reasons why locals and tourists come to grand central terminal. from shake shack to grand central market, and vineyard vines to warby parker, each picture paints a thousand wows. the snaps were used in collateral and in ads on city kiosks, digital, metro wraps, time out new york, and in station and interior posters.
though some would argue that every day is an event at grand central, there are some special occasions that bring in the masses and create traditions for families and friends alike.
grand central hosts the city’s most beloved and longest-running indoor holiday fair. and every year, we promote it — and the unique vendors — who create american-made and handmade products with locally-sourced materials or a socially-conscious business model.
shot by stephen mallon and directed by we watsons, we created this holiday fair time-lapse film from set-up to sold-out.
the watsons also branded…
“national beer day”, an event in which a number of vendors sell their best beer; “a taste of the terminal” featuring select vendors offering tastings & treats, complete with live music; summer sendoff sends kids back to school with food, music, and almost as much bliss as their parents are experiencing; and grand central cinema, a one-day film festival that celebrates the terminal's role as a favorite hollywood set location. year one, attendees were presented a montage of classic scenes shot in the terminal — and a full screening of the 1959 Hitchcock thriller, North by Northwest, in which grand central played a leading role.
When we met fresh&co, a breakthrough healthy food quick service concept, they had four restaurants in NYC. Today, they have sixteen in a marketplace now saturated with copycat concepts. Along with rebranding the restaurants inside and out, we created interior and exterior signage advertising the many reasons why those outside would be happier in.
to ensure continuity across all touch points, we created a design system that elevated the brand’s profile and personality. using a playful suite of icons, including farm elements, foods, expressions, and culinary instruments, we brought an energy to the brand — while messaging reflected the whimsy of the design with a friendly, sometimes humorous tone. using a white envelope to bring home the modernity of the brand, we juxtaposed hand-cut typography and design elements to create the perfect rustic/modern balance for the brand, bringing home the brand’s culinary-innovative, locally-sourced menu offerings.
bringing to light the brand’s made-to-order offerings using only fresh ingredients, we began with the tagline: just made. just for you.™
when physique 57 needed a re-do, the watsons went to the barre. with studios in new york city, the hamptons, beverly hills, bangkok, and dubai, this boutique barre-based fitness company had a service offering that was enthusiastically embraced. but the brand’s look and voice weren't reflecting its strengths — figuratively or literally.
our first campaign showcased the fierceness that embodied both the instructors and longtime clients, among them, fashion designer norma kamali. to show the full spectrum of the brand experience, we also shot classes in action. the new look was clean, elegant, and urban, bringing in the energy and attitude of the city itself. the voice created an aspirational representation of the powerful women at the helm — and heart — of physique 57.
when the watsons were later asked to promote physique 57’s new studio in new york’s financial district (fidi), we created a next-generation refresh that put a spotlight on the brand’s greatest differentiator: its extraordinary instructors.
here, we directed two shoots. the first, a highly-stylized, fashion-inspired approach, showing how these women live the brand’s promise on every level. the second, which featured the instructors at work, was shot reportage style, in the visually stunning baryshnikov arts center. media included print, out of home, digital, social, internal signage, and a new web site.
while cabot cheese is known and loved in new england, awareness is not as high in new york state. our job? boost cabot’s profile for a bigger slice of new york’s marketshare.
research taught us that, while most people buy one cheese for cooking, another for snacking, and yet a third for entertaining, cabot showed the greatest versatility, coming out on top in all three categories. in our minds, that made them,“the best cheese on the block”.
with thanksgiving just around the bend, we created a cabot-sponsored event that gave new yorkers the opportunity to enter to win their version of the perfect holiday celebration. named “friendsgiving”, the winner would celebrate with ten people of their choosing — after the obligatory family gathering was over.
we drove new yorkers to cabot’s new york facebook page via an online media campaign running across nymag.com, chowhound.com, new york magazine, and more. full page takeovers in time out new york and grub street highlighted both the contest and the brand’s local farms. the campaign also included wild postering, shareable art, and facebook flyers. in just ten weeks, we added nearly 4,500 nyc/tri-state area fans to cabot creamery’s nyc facebook page.
when the watsons created an ad campaign for rick’s picks, we started by developing a brand voice as playful as the products — and the founder himself. from there, we developed a suite of collateral, print, digital, and out-of-home advertising centered around a simple idea: there are few greater pleasures than those that come from fresh ingredients — transformed into big flavors.
using sassical (whimsical, yet sassy) word plays and a bright, ingredient-inspired color palette, each execution serves as a celebration of the product it promotes.
when we created our first ad campaign for the wnba’s new york liberty we set out to showcase not just the team, but the experience. yes, fundamentally, the liberty is about hoops, but they’re also a high-energy entertainment experience — wrapped in music, community, fun — and some very special world-class athletes who play not for the paycheck, but for the love of the game. that’s what we called, raising the game.
from tickets to transit to tv — and lots of digital in between — our messaging spoke to the overall badass-ery of the women who put the liberty — and the wnba — on the map. we also celebrated the amazingly diverse fans who unfailingly come to see them. unrivaled nyc entertainment, a sense of belonging, basketball in its purest form — all at the greatest sports arena in the world. that’s liberty for all.
when the wnba and liberty launched in 1997, a lot of people said they wouldn’t last. so when they reached their tenth anniversary, we decided to remind those people just how wrong they were. using subway car posters and billboards, we took to the streets and tunnels of new york to celebrate this happy milestone.
sometimes you just have to be there. other times, before you go there, you have to see what you’re missing. our spots for the liberty encapsulate the overall experience in sight, sound, and energy. we call these: bball shorts.
bartlett tree experts is the largest tree and shrub care company in the world. and with the most extensive r&d lab in the country, every bit of their work is grounded in science. as a company—and a brand—bartlett understands that its greatest asset is its people. so when they wanted to make their successful employee recognition program, ‘bartlett champions’, a consumer-facing campaign, we were on it. all we had to do was to find a way to make an internal program work in the outside world.
to do so, we featured each champion with headlines showcasing just how passionate, slightly-obsessive, encyclopedic, tree-geeky, happy, and amazingly likable they are. in other words, we showcased real people who are exceptional at what they do, in a way that was authentic to each of them.
the design used hero imagery of champions outside and among the trees, wrapped in a graphic ribbon, which represents their place of honor in the company. in the end, the people who make bartlett the best in the world became living proof of every brand promise. they are the champions, my friend.
our objectives for montclair state university’s campaign were, let’s just say, layered. not only did we aim to develop an anthemic brand concept that carried the flexibility to speak both universally and specifically to a spectrum of benefits, we needed to ensure it broke from the category’s clutter of sameness.
the happy result is a campaign we call “red hawk ready”, which speaks to the many ways in which montclair state readies its students for lifetimes of success. while messaging leverages the university’s momentum in a way that’s distinctively montclair state, the design is next-generation, centering on a modern and sophisticated use of msu's core red color. while other schools in the region have red at their center, we made sure montclair state was the only school to own it.
at its core, the red hawk ready concept is about moments, big and small, that prepare students to reach their goals in education — and in life. the ready spots bring that thinking to life by showing people in the process of readying themselves in ways simple and transformative. each spot creates an anthemic, evocative story that says; at montclair state, getting ready for the new world is a powerful, positive experience — in and of itself."
using media that ranges from snap video and ooh to digital and collateral, this campaign uses a multitude of media to showcase a multitude of offerings. the integrated campaign ran on facebook, instagram, and youtube pre-roll — and in the form of digital display, collateral, and infographics. we also created interactive posters for the admissions office, inciting prospective students to take and post selfies with them.
the bringchange2mind brand and campaign were created from the ground up for actress glenn close. it would become the first national advertising effort in history designed to combat the stigma associated with mental illness.
we kicked off the campaign with a national psa that was shot in the iconic grand central terminal (also a watsons client). directed pro bono by ron howard with music donated by john mayer, the spot featured 80 volunteers, many of whom were living with mental illness, and five people who outed themselves by wearing their illness on their t-shirt. walking side-by-side with a loved one, the concept was designed to visually illustrate what one in six people looks like. the tagline doubled as a call to action: change a mind and you can change a life.
the spot was picked up time-warner cable, comcast cable, charter cable, lifetime network, and fox networks. additionally, screen vision showed the psa on 260 movie screens, ncm (national cinamedia) with in-lobby plasma screens in 950 of their cineplexes, and hulu featured both the psa and the “making of” video.
in its first months, bringchange2mind.org had 3 million+ hits, over 285,000 visits, and 700,000+ page views from more than 150 countries. there were over one thousand emails for non-emergency assistance – all of which were answered within 48 hours.
the brand’s facebook presence was brimming with over 40,000 active fans who have contributed thousands of posts. the psa itself has received 173,000+ views on youtube.
demand for shirts worn in the psa resulted in the creation of an e-commerce section of the site, which aids in funding the effort moving forward.
When Columbia Skincare, founded in 1871, discovered a breakthrough chemical compound that enhanced the body’s natural inclination to regenerate healthy skin cells, it was our job to spread the word.
with a modern design and spirited messaging that called out the industry’s less-than-accurate anti-aging claims, our first step was to launch a 4-page insert in american spa magazine. The piece not only announced the product, it established the next generation of one of the most steadfast legacy brands in the country.
on the heels of insert, we launched a new digital ad campaign that drove customers to purchase online. we also developed comprehensive brand standards that guided us through the creation of social and influencer assets.