By Michael O'Connell Posted December 10, 2009, 4:00 PM EST
NYC & Company introduced around 400 influencers to its new Extreme Local campaign on Friday with a party at M Studio highlighting restaurants, retailers, and experiences found in neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.
One of the tourism nonprofit's largest experiential marketing endeavors to date, Extreme Local launched Black Friday in an effort to get New Yorkers to put money into local businesses during the holidays. A new database of more than 100 things to do in select neighborhoods now lives on NYCgo.com.
“We really wanted to underscore our partners in the launch of this initiative,” said NYC & Company vice president of marketing Marnie Baretz. “Having a party for 300 or 400 people seemed like the right thing to do to capture the energy of the program.”
Those partners—American Express, AT&T, and Yellow Pages—were showcased in signage and interactive elements throughout the event, which NYC & Company produced with Epiphany.
They covered walls with the names of the different neighborhoods and projected images of Extreme Local's selections on glowing spheres hung from the ceiling. In one room, guests posed in a photo booth and even suggested their own favorite hot spots on a blown-up map of the city, like the one in a mobile application Yellow Pages created for the project.
As for food, guests sampled fare from three restaurants from different parts of the city. “The goal of Extreme Local is to highlight neighborhoods, so it made sense to bring in restaurants from those neighborhoods,” said Baretz. ”Lure Fishbar, Dos Caminos, and Carmine's were all eager to come on board when we approached them.”
Waitstaff circled the venue with sweet and savory bites from each restaurant throughout the night. Options ranged from caviar-topped deviled eggs and sushi to churros and cups of tiramisu.
Extreme Local only lasts through December 20, but Baretz looks at this month as a template for future incarnations that could come as soon as next year.