citizenM Hotel celebrated the opening of their newest hotel in Bowery NYC with an opening party experience created and produced by N/A Collective– the NYC-based hybrid creative agency meets production shop.
A new location in The Bowery signifies a momentous milestone for citizenM as it looks to unify its edgy ambiance with one of New York City’s most deeply rooted and quirky, artistic neighborhoods. The hotel brand’s celebratory opening party produced by N/A Collective is burlesque-themed and will include a red carpet entrance, disco-studded dancers in the main space, and three uniquely, designed room experiences for invited guests:
- Flocks of Champagne Room: Guests enter a room of suspended bird cages not occupied by birds but instead filled with spotlit bottles of champagne. Feathers and bubbles fill the floor of the room to hint at the possibility of birds once occupying those cages. Guests are invited to take photos, drink champagne and take flutes to sip on in the next room.
- Jack-in-the-Drawer Room: To highlight the luggage space under the bed, guests are invited into a room with a mysterious red light glowing out of the slightly cracked drawer. When they open the drawer, they find a contortionist who pops out wearing an exuberant silver bodysuit. The contortionist twists, turns, and flips around to give a mini tour of the room’s delightful attributes. As they are leaving, the contortionist promptly packs themself back into the drawer to await next visitors.
- Cotton Candy Concoctions Room: The third and final themed room invites guests into an alluring spotlight where a cotton candy machine sits. The shelves of the room are lined with different cotton candy sugars in jars to use as photo backdrops and the main ingredient for their cotton candy delight. Inside, a “candy expert” crafts the treat with various “cheeky” toppings.
Upon receiving the initial client brief, N/A started by developing several concepts and creative directions. citizenM’s passion for Art, Music, Tech and Fashion provided inspiration for each unique approach. Once a direction was selected, we further developed a theme that embraced the local community and blew out a full-sensory 360 grand opening party.
The party included guided room tours inviting guests to interact and experience a series of immersive moments and hotel’s amenities in undeniably citizenM-esque flare.
N/A was also responsible for bringing the concept to life, handling all planning/logistical development — catering, scenic builds, styling, casting, costumes, content capture, guest flow and experience, etc.
Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?
citizenM embraces the neighborhood in which it resides — the city, the culture and most importantly the people.
To pay homage to the residents of its new locale, we hosted a celebration that truly embodies the Bowery and introduces citizenM as the new kid on the block.
We ensured the theatrical grandeur of the opening party was the talk of the town long after the party ended.
Tell us about the creative brief, what did it ask?
citizenM presented us a detailed brief in hopes of us transforming their initial thoughts into a newsworthy and memorable experience. Key points that were presented to us were:
a. Let’s create the ultimate hotel opening; an event for citizenM friends (old & new) to experience our brand and for New York City to know there is a new type of hotel in town (now even bigger & better) that is ready to take over major US cities in the next years.
b. Our opening events give citizenM friends a chance to get a first look at our new hotel, (re)connect with us/the hotel ambassadors personally - as well as our brand - and since this is our New York flagship hotel, establish the hotel and expose it to new neighbors, citizens and the city.
Which insight led to the creation of this piece of work?
To play on citizenM’s roll-out campaign — which celebrates “local heroes” and Bowery’s assorted culture — we honor those who truly make Bowery what it is today: the misfits.
In one night of spectacles and grandeur, we take the eclectic spirit of Bowery’s mashup of peoples and cultures and manifest it within the four walls of the block’s newest and biggest misfit, citizenM.
We invited our closest friends to experience local food, live music and outlandish characters straight from the streets of our new neighborhood in an eccentric Moulin Rouge-like extravaganza.
How did the client initially react to this idea?
The client immediately gravitated to the sense of grandeur and mystical nature of the creative concept. citizenM is known for being a little risque in their style and event execution so pitching out-of-the-box room displays and performances were inline with their overall approach to hotel openings in the US. It was a great opportunity to push the creative envelope with a brand who’s willing to go past their comfort zone.
What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development.
Creative and production working in congruent with hotel construct — concepting around a space that hasn’t yet been physically built presented additional caution and anticipation when envisioning the experiences that were to take place.
The moments we enjoyed most were the guest reactions when a twisting and turning contortionist slipped out of a tiny luggage drawer, or when metallic silver dancers with disco ball heads descended onto the dance floor for spikes of awe and excitement. The evening was full of surprising moments and details that showcased the personality of citizenM and their style of celebration for this new monumental opening in NYC.
citizemM is looking to open new hotels throughout the United States and we are looking forward to partnering with them in the future, creating memorable Grand Openings and pushing the boundaries of the brand.