Good art directors are as motivated as their account manager colleagues when it comes to creating the best products for their clients, and both would agree that creative talent flourishes when the right physical conditions are in place. In New York, agencies seeking a change of business venue might do well to consider a location where those conditions are in surprisingly ample supply – the Financial District.
From finance to media
It might surprise art directors outside the Big Apple to hear that Madison Avenue may be losing its crown as location of choice among advertising agencies. Eighteen ad shops have moved to the Financial District since 2005, and it’s no accident. Millions of square feet of office space have been vacated by consolidating financial firms over the last few years. Creative and media companies are being encouraged to take their place by concerted efforts between private and public sector organizations keen to breathe new life into the area.
A recent new resident is ad agency Barker DZP, whose 10-year lease on its SoHo offices was drawing to a close at the end of 2013. CEO John Barker hunted around for a new location, investigating Chelsea, Brooklyn and the Flatiron District. But as soon as he found out about the benefits of the Financial District, he was convinced it would be the best choice.
A recent visit to his new penthouse office in Broad Street from a colleague who’s worked in Adland for fifty years says a lot about the kind of space on offer. He told Barker “…this is the best view he’s seen from any agency in his lifetime.”
Barker’s convinced, in fact, that the Financial District will very soon be associated with the ad culture of Madison Avenue. And the reason is fairly easy to identify: it’s providing fabulous office spaces – the kind of interestingly capacious settings most art directors long for to set their creative juices flowing – at amazingly cost-effective prices.
Spaces like this, as Barker understands intuitively, tend to impress clients, who like their ad agencies to demonstrate their proximity to the pulse of what’s trending in the wider culture by being based in modish offices in modish locations.
And Barker’s not alone: recent new neighbors in the Financial District include Droga5 and NY-based ad shop Mekanism.