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NEW YORK With the release of its new Droid phone last Friday, Verizon officially kicked off the largest marketing campaign in its history. It celebrated the launch in New York with a private Yeah Yeah Yeahs concert at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for the Arts on the Lower East Side. Most of the 650 guests scored their tickets when buying the phone earlier that day or encountering one of Verizon's many street teams that canvased the city all last week.
The cellular carrier is hoping the new Motorola phone will finally give its brand a rival to Apple's iPhone, so it tapped Momentum Worldwide to cover the distinctive venue—a former synagogue—with Droid branding. Momentum put stationed Droid sampling stations near the entrance and in the V.I.P. balcony, and worked with lighting designer Jonathan Goldstein and BML Blackbird to maintain the look of the campaign on stage during the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' performance.
The band, after all, was the real draw for guests. Product launches often only offer a three- or four-song set from guest acts, but Verizon billed its party as an actual concert, devoting an entire hour to the band. Press releases touted the show as a “secret,” but local music blogs quickly drew attention to Verizon's Twitter account, which tracked the locations of the street teams handing out tickets throughout the week.
Friday's party wasn't the only Droid activation. After hiring Momentum to send Droid-dispensing crane games to four markets earlier this month, the New York concert was one of four Verizon timed to the launch. San Francisco had its own incarnation of the party Friday night at Bimbo’s 365 Club, with a performance by Metric. Two additional shows are scheduled to take place in Dallas and Houston this week.