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A Tale of Two Squares

This week, in New York City, there’s a tale of two squares — one is Times Square, and the other — seven blocks south — Penn Plaza.

The GOP national convention has turned Penn Plaza, which encompasses Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, into an outdoor ad mecca, AdAge reports. However, as opposed to the commercially charged Times Square, Penn Plaza features politically themed signs and billboards — not traditional consumer advertisements.

A few examples: Planned Parenthood of New York City: “Is America Pro-Choice? Yes!” Comedy Central: “Welcome to New York. That smell? Freedom.” Budweiser: “It’s time for a Grand Old Party.”

Now I’m wondering: Then what? When the Republicans and their families head back home, will Penn Plaza’s marketing glamor fade? Will it prove to be more than an overnight sensation — a one-week wonder — and continue to attract advertisers? Is this convention a turning point for what’s little more than a drab place where commuters shuttle?

One event might not be all it takes to turn the place around. Just think how long it took for Times Square to become an icon, or a lovemark for that matter. In the case of Penn Plaza, maybe we need patience.

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