“Work Hard. Pray Hard.” Wunderman Thompson’s New Campaign for Alliance for Downtown New York


By thelaegotist / /

The Alliance for Downtown New York launched a new campaign to remind New Yorkers and visitors of its unique and surprising breadth of experiences and attractions and at the same time renew interest in Lower Manhattan for commercial real estate decision makers.  The agency, Wunderman Thompson juxtaposed contrasting images and headlines from iconic landmarks to the area’s newest hotspots in the OOH campaign running throughout New York and on public transit.  

According to the Alliance for Downtown New York, which is charged with advancing Lower Manhattan as a global model of a 21st century Central Business District: after 9/11, the area experienced about 20 years of steady and positive commercial real estate momentum. This abruptly came to an end a few years ago across New York City’s and worldwide business districts due to the COVID 19 pandemic and other factors. Today, corporate decision makers tend to be more cautious when committing to a commercial property investment.  


Wunderman Thompson, located at 3 World Trade Center set out to create a campaign that captures the soul and character of Lower Manhattan, making the area the ideal place to work. For example, “Play Time” at pickleball courts is contrasted by the brand-new Performing Arts Center’s “Play Time.”  Commercial office building Brookfield Place “Work Hard” is followed by “Pray Hard” at Trinity Church.  An image of the Freedom Tower: “1,776 Feet” pairs with George Washington’s “1776 Feat” spotlighting his statue on at Federal Hall on Wall Street. An “Everything” Bagel from Leo’s is paired with “Then Sum” at Dim Sum Palace speaks to the array of dining choices in the area. 

“This area has a soul and a character that cannot be replicated anywhere else. This is the place where New York itself started distinctively, energetically, and unapologetically,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance. “Our partnership with Wunderman was dynamic and rewarding. Their insights into our neighborhood were keen and the creative they delivered sparkles with wit and visual impact. The ability to speak to multiple audiences with one malleable approach makes this campaign very special.” 

“Downtown Manhattan is such a special place with New York’s oldest history and some of New York’s newest cultural icons, like the Performing Arts Center.  Where else in the city, let alone the world, are you spoiled with this juxtaposition of choice? Only Downtown,” said Dominic Al-Samarraie, ECD at Wunderman Thompson New York. “The area is filled with so much to do that you always discover something new or learn something old just from walking the streets. On the way to the office every day, we’re lucky enough to walk past many of Downtown’s iconic spots, so we wanted to highlight them with a bit of New York wit. The best part is that you don’t have to choose between the places we’re featuring, because Downtown, you have them all.”



 FORMAL CLIENT NAME:  Alliance for Downtown New York

Campaign Title:  Only Downtown

Agency:   Wunderman Thompson

Region/Office:   New York

Chief Creative Officer, North America: Tom Murphy

Chief Creative Officer, New York: Rosie Bardales

Executive Creative Director: Dominic Al-Samarraie

Art Director: Sydney Richter

Copywriter: Jack Lyons   

Senior Producer: Hugo Fitzgerald

Account Service:  Richard Nevins, Dave Kurman, Alex Ikenberg, Obrey Shillingford

Strategy: Rodrigo Maroni

Downtown Alliance

President: Jessica Lappin

Senior Vice President, Communications & Marketing: Andrew Breslau 


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