Monday, August 3, 2009

Why I Love New York City - Simon Whalley

Recently returned from a trip to the Big Apple, Simon Whalley (EP of Design/Digital at Framestore), reflects in his second blog on how much he 'gets' NYC and how much NYC 'gets' him:

There are 2 cities that have exceeded hype and expectations for me - Barcelona and New York.
I was in New York last week with my partner Mike Woods (that's business partner, incidentally, not the other kind of partner. Not that there's anything wrong with that....). We were there for a whirlwind tour, visiting Framestore NY and some of their esteemed clients, showing them our exciting developments in digital work.

This is not my first visit to this fine city, but it's a testament to the city's vibe that it always gives me the same excitement upon arrival, like that feeling you get when tearing the cellophane off your imported DVD boxset of SNL (or is that just me?). Anyway, it's just a magnificent place. The architecture is breathtaking, the people are fantastic and the food is just, well, awesome! We were staying in a hotel in the Lower East Side, just a few brisk steps away from Katz's Deli (it's worth pointing out that our steps taken after eating at Katz's were a lot less brisk than the ones on the way in).

Meeting the New York clients was an extremely rewarding experience. They loved everything we showed them, from inventive flash games and innovative web applications to groundbreaking non-linear approaches to storytelling and innovative iPhone apps. They completely got it. It was great to discover how some of the agencies have truly embraced integration cross platform, being in control of TV, Print and Digital, thus keeping the creative coherent, strong and ultimately more interesting. A fine example of this is 'The Great Schlep' ( by Droga5. A cracking idea, brilliantly executed. Crossed the boundary from the virtual to the real with great aplomb.

We in Digital see this interaction between the digital world and the real world to be the key to a sustained, exciting and ultimately successful campaign. From a consumer's point of view, being able to immerse yourself cross platform into essentially an Alternate Reality Game (ie an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform as well as the web and mobile) is a much more rewarding experience. With that in mind, we're working with a client now to achieve exactly that. Watch this space.

So, thank you New York for having us. We miss you, and we'll come back soon - we promise!

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