Street-smart NY storage ads tell it straight

Share this content:
Best is yet to come ... if marketers build it
Best is yet to come ... if marketers build it

Walking the streets of New York City after a recent Sunday brunch, an out-of-town friend delighted in the sight of a woman making her way home in what seemed to be the outfit she had worn out the night before. "That's what I love about New York: the anonymity," my friend said.


That sentiment probably reflects the view of a lot of people overwhelmed by the idea of the city's population of 8 million people, more than 1.5 million of whom elbow each other for space on Manhattan.


To New Yorkers, New York 
is really just another small town. We constantly run into folks we know in places we don't expect to see them. We delight in discovering shared connections with people we've just met. We have unified experiences that bridge our economic, racial and social diversity. We're sometimes guilty of drawing a judgmental line between ourselves and the rest of the country.


Yet few companies would think of advertising to New Yorkers as if they were residents of a small (if blunt-spoken) town. This is exactly what makes Manhattan Mini Storage's advertising stand out in a city saturated with marketing messages.


"In my father's house, there are many rooms," reads one transit ad, referencing a biblical passage from the Gospel of John. Then the punch line: "Clearly, Jesus was not a New Yorker." "Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?" goes another ad.


There are endless creative executions; some more controversial than others: "Remember, if you leave the city, you'll have to live in America," "Oh, yeah, you'll fit right in in Connecticut," and "Nobody becomes famous in Des Moines."


At times, the campaign has crossed inexplicably into the political, but even then the filter is topical and New York City-centric. "If you don't like gay marriage," went one recent billboard, "don't get gay married." Paris Hilton's lawyers once sent a cease-and-desist letter to protest an ad with the tagline, "Your closet's so shallow, it makes Paris look deep."


The ads are clean, simple and visually distinct. They have a clear aim: Get Manhattan residents to store the things that don't fit in their apartments on the island, rather than using less-convenient, out-of-city storage facilities or (gasp) moving 
to the suburbs to get more 
space for their stuff.


While the ads may be aimed 
at New Yorkers, the principles 
of smart marketing apply to any brand: Know your audience, and deliver clear, relevant and differentiated messaging. There's also a lesson for those who believe it's impossible for a commodity product to emotionally engage consumers. Judging by their popularity and social media buzz, Manhattan Mini Storage's ads strike a nerve with New Yorkers who relate to their street-smart and funny tone. The ads have even been praised in the Arts & Culture section of New York magazine.


The vibe of the outdoor ads 
is consistent across all channels, including the company's website, YouTube videos and Facebook page. It seems to translate into business success, as well. With 17 Manhattan locations and more than 200,000 clients, Manhattan Mini Storage claims to be the largest personal storage company in New York and one of the largest in the country.


I'd keep going on about relevant marketing from a sharp marketer, but I've got other things to do. As a wise out-of-home ad lectures: "Stop posting weird sh!% and clean your apartment."

Loading links....

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here