What happened September 11, 2001

September 11, 2011

We are re-posting this piece written by Michael Mark, CEO/Creative Director @ NYCA, in honor of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. 

To those of you who lost loved ones in the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, here’s what happened in their final moments.

Your father was a hero.  When the building shook from the blast, he did not concern himself with fear.  He helped unblock an office door which had been barricaded by debris and furniture that had moved. He freed three people.

Your friend who was on the plane being hijacked recognized immediately how serious the matter was and reached to calm the shaking hand of the person in the next seat.

Your wife saw a man bleeding from his head and she tore a piece from her shirt and made a bandage for him.

Your aunt helped her co-workers who could not find the exit through the smoke – they all made it. Then she went back for others.

Your nephew who was the pilot on the plane had only the safety of everyone on board in focus every second.

Your grandfather found a young man pinned under a fallen piece of ceiling and even when the young man said go on without him – he stayed until others heard the calls and came to help.

Your husband took on the hijackers believing it would cost his life. He helped save hundreds of people neither of you will ever know.

Your grandmother who worked at the Pentagon led hundreds who were physically stronger to a secure area, putting them before her own welfare as she always has.

Your uncle gave his water to a choking woman who gave him God’s blessing with every floor they arrived at, arm in arm.

Your brother who always wanted to be a policeman knew without doubt as he followed the cries for help up the stairs this was the moment why.

Your sister searched her entire floor to make sure everyone was out of there before she began to make her own way down.

Your friend held the exit door open for his office-mates with his wheelchair, cheering as they moved on that “We’ll all get out together.” And he didn’t so much hold on to those who lifted him down as he hugged them.

Your son would not let the tired woman stop. He cajoled her by telling her she reminded him of you; how you two had to meet. He even called her mom to keep her moving.

Your flight attendant daughter was forced to the back of the plane with all the others on board but stood in front of them in protective defiance; keeping herself between the terrorists and her passengers.

Your sister climbed back up three flights against the crowd and heat, believing her assistant was still there.

Your college buddy’s sense of humor kept all in his voice’s range smiling and moving with hope.

Your niece lent her shoulder to lean on for a man she had seen in the elevator so many times but whose name she never knew.

Your sister-in-law saw a man sitting in the stairwell coughing, and shared her asthma medicine. They moved on together.

Your firefighter brother-in-law helped hundreds of people out, redirecting them to clearer exits as he climbed higher and higher.

Your nephew and his boss carried an older woman 38 floors.

Your cousin got everyone to sing “The Long and Winding Road” as they worked their way down, making up the words they didn’t know.

Your mother’s last thoughts were the same thoughts she’s had as she lay her head down every night since you were born.

You wonder what happened. You want to know what these people you love were feeling, what they were thinking, what they went through in their final moments.  These are actual facts, exactly as they happened. As true as their love for you. As true as their faith in your love for them.


Mind Your Manners: ‘Thank You’ Is a Powerful Marketing Device

May 11, 2011

By Michelle Edelman, President @ NYCA

On so many creative briefs, we see the same objectives over and over. Build awareness, create that elusive thing called buzz, grow topline sales, increase customer loyalty.

When’s the last time you saw a creative brief that instructed: thank our customers?

For many of us, the answer is probably never. Our efforts are always so focused on asking for the order, or gaining likes or fans or friends, or inviting the consumer to attend, save, sign up, share — all of this in anticipation of a purchase. Let’s be honest. We’re salespeople, really.

That’s why I wanted to share a particularly simple and moving experience from my recent purchase from Toms Shoes…

(Read the full article published in AdAge.com’s Small Agency Diary here.)


To make the biggest changes, focus on the smallest things.

March 1, 2011

By Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO @ NYCA

“It’s all too complicated.” We’ve all felt and sighed that. Life moves fast and can have so many layers, one can get paralyzed under the tonage.

Same with work. With so many channels of information constantly being updated even as we’re analyzing it all, we can get caught up in just staying current instead of creating change. When we get overwhelmed, we can’t be our most effective or happiest. If you want to change the direction of your life, of a company, of a brand, try to focus on one thing only. You have to block out the noise to hear the music. It’s that easy. Sure it’s an oversimplification. But oversimplifications can get you moving — and action wins.  So, instead of the entire web of intricate behaviors, see only the action of a single movement.

For example, since I’m hungry, let’s say sales are down 24% on your global company’s frozen turkey slices. You’ve stared at the data for days and the turkey still isn’t moving. So forget the data, the percentages, the fact that your company produces turkey for most of the meat-eating world, and imagine a single person in a single store passing by the rack and reaching for another brand’s product. Your entire mission goes back from this moment — all you need to do is get that consumer to reach just a few inches over for your brand. For right now, it’s not about the changes in distribution, the trucking contracts, rising cost of turkey feather pluckers, shifting trends in eating habits, new entrants to the marketplace — so much, too much. Just focus on moving that customer’s hand over to grab a cold handful of your turkey. That’s the entire mission.

In all matters it comes down to one thing more than any other: what is that one thing that will make the customer move? It’s not everything, but for this jump-start it is the only thing. If you can bite-size the matter, you can handle it more easily, you get unfrozen yourself. Same in your personal life: if you want to stop smoking, you need to see yourself not as a child being brought up in the house of a smoker, not a smoker yourself for 17 and a half years who has tried to quit and now will lose the love of your life if you don’t. You just have to see yourself simply not putting a cigarette in your mouth. Once you master the image, you are on the way to doing the action, repeating it. Where do you not put a cigarette in your mouth? In church, your kid’s classroom – see that; it’s a starting point. Small movements, no matter how small, shape all things. Small makes a big difference. All the difference.


Michelle Edelman featured in Ad Age

February 25, 2011

By Michelle Edelman, President @ NYCA

Want to Move Your Agency Forward? Try Moving – Adventure in Real Estate Leads to Reflection on Our Business Practices

At our small agency, we want to be bigger. We’re restless characters. We like to solve different problems. Our metabolism is just built that way. Growing ourselves is a big part of what we think about during the 16 hours we aren’t at the office (OK, maybe more like 12).

So surprisingly enough, one of our greatest growth spurts as an agency came when we decided to move our headquarters location. When I read that last sentence, it sounds like there was some sort of grand plan. Far from it. We looked at our lease renewal price, looked at each other, and said, “Well, I guess we better go then!” It’s what happened after that ball started rolling that grew the agency.

Read the full article here.


How a sporting good became an ESPN Play of the Day

February 17, 2011

By Michael Mark, CEO/Creative Director at NYCA

Yesterday a non-athlete, a non-athletic activity, was celebrated as an ESPN SportsCenter Top Ten play. The Play of the Day is the domain for spectacular efforts on the playing field. So how does a piece of sporting equipment make it into that pantheon?

It must capture the imagination. It must tap into a truth in sport and culture and fantasy. Of course, it starts with the product, the remarkable innovation that is R11. It’s white in a world of dark sameness. That is a story in itself. It’s a great performing golf club, perhaps the greatest.

Sergio Garcia at the white-out event in NYC

But what makes this story trespass the boundary of sporting goods equipment to a play-of-the-day is a marketing effort that was completely engaging and incomplete – to allow the media and the consumer and retail to join. A true 311 degree campaign that will be 360 degrees when done. Initiated by an activation plan featuring public relations, mass advertising, experiential, retail – where entire store fronts were whited-out — the best professional athletes, a famous celebrity ambassador who ‘happens’ on to the scene, top level corporate and public support at TaylorMade, site white-out takeovers, associating with a great and relevant cause – all coming together at a time when the golf industry is searching for a way to the future, enthusiasm, passion. A brave voice, a great story told in many ways.

White-Out TaylorMade Tour Truck

Whiting-out retail stores beyond the golf section was a breakthrough. Having an event on the streets of New York with Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia, TaylorMade Golf CEO Mark King and Donald Trump in the cold of winter brought together business, golf, the biggest city in the world – in the off-season. Bang-bang-bang, barriers busted, at the premier event on the PGA Tour, the big black TaylorMade Tour Truck was whited-out, the players were dressed head to foot in white and so were fans of the brand on the other side of the ropes. Advertising ran that broke tradition by using famous kid tunes sung by children in the broadcast – in a serious game of golf?!  Yes, “one of these things is not like the other things.” The combined messaging that focused on the fun and intrigue of a renegade attitude of the product, and then supporting the technological leaps and performance founded in the science of the product – we call it the 3 Dimensions of Distance: balancing emotion and the rational.

This is part of what it takes to go from a piece of equipment to ESPN’s SportsCenter Top Ten Play of the Day. Breaking boundaries, from the performance of the product to the communications. A team that includes all partners powered by dramatic imagination. And, like all other plays of the day, inspiring execution. Breathtaking displays, this time not on the green grass of the playing field but on the marketing playing field.

And the MVP – Most Valued Performance indicator: according to retailers, the R11 is “the fastest selling golf club in the last 10 years!”


ESPN lists TaylorMade’s whiteout as Top Ten Play of the Day

February 17, 2011

NYCA and TaylorMade marketing camps made ESPN’s Sportcenter Top Ten Plays of the Day. Check it out!


NYCA & TaylorMade Golf in the news for latest driver launch

February 14, 2011

TaylorMade Golf launched it’s white driver, the R11, earlier this month with an aggressive campaign including a “white out” at the Farmers Insurance Open. See Waggle Room’s article here.