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Do U Heart the *(new) I Heart NY logo? *($17m)


My first inclination is: Never (re)touch a classic!

I get it - seasons, culture, arts, cuisine, squirrels… Come see and love all that is NY.

Given the ubiquitous charm of the IHeartNY logo, and the pride it instills in even the most nomadic native son and daughter worldwide (myself included), it is understandable city PR and marketing execs were wary of too much change.

But merely tepidly tweaking such a classic logo not only fails to take advantage of über agency Saatchi & Saatchi’s strengths - it also sorely fails to justify the multimillion-dollar price tag. (Note: This commentary focuses exclusively on logo change/$17 million is the cited overall campaign cost, including logo.)

S&S is best at its most dynamic, and clients should be sure they’re ready for a significant trajectory change before commissioning at this level. More interesting would be a review of the rejected ideas before what seems, to me, like cold feet set it (by S&S or NY?). The city could have saved much of its allocated rebranding budget by using an in-house intern. The resulting logo looks as if it did, anyway.

To quote an old SNL skit: “Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?”

Having fun with a classic image is fine, truly. And the IHeartNY variations presented are, indeed, fun, almost clever... or should be if it were not for the obvious free clip-art sources (which is another topic indeed, especially since the cockroach and rodent population of NY lacks representation! What's up with the pitchfork anyway? Heritage? Looks more like the preferred method of burying mafia hit targets. And where's a mountain? water? a boat to signify a major harbor/port? The vaguely imaged lolly pop is a historical marker symbol on a pole - seems like a three-column building with a-line roof - for instance, such as on maps - would have been more identifiable.

**Cute, if limited, as the many incarnations of NY represented here are, let's not pretend these logos are anything more than banner-ad quality. This is not anything I'd associate with a top international ad agency, nor is it a worthy face-lift for such a NY grand dame.**

"I Heart a NY Classic!"
(says this New Yorker in Old Amsterdam)

(shoutout to underconsideration.com's brand new for initial head's up and track to bnet.com article et al)

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