Back in the fall of 2009, Radical Media approached us with an interesting challenge. Their client, Tommy Hilfiger, was opening a new flagship store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan — finally taking its rightful place among the retail gods of stateside fashion. In order to commemorate such an epic event, Radical wanted to parade a 75-member Tommy-branded marching band in custom uniforms through the most visible sections of New York City — Times Square, Central Park, and 5th Avenue. This had to happen without breaking the bank, or ending up in the city’s doghouse.
Eager to tackle such an exciting event, TNC went to work on the production. We secured all the necessary permits, cooperation from all the NYPD precincts, off-duty NYPD escorts, booked the bandshell in Central Park, worked logistics for the store performance on 5th Avenue, and provided full production support on the day of the event.
Camera phones were out and tourist Twittering was in full effect as we stormed Times Square. We paused in Central Park to water the band and hand out hundreds of Tommy Hilfiger kites to the kids. And when our 100+ member entourage was barreling down Central Park’s famed Literary Walk toward the bandshell, the producer noticed there was another band already playing onstage. That overpriced gym membership finally came in handy as he sprinted ahead and physically removed the rogue band from the stage just in time for Tommy’s marching band to step in without delay and deliver a staggering performance.
After the concert, the procession continued down the most ostentatious stretch of 5th Avenue, leading the hypnotized fans along like enthusiastic lemmings. We reached the store and assumed positions. Drums rumbling on the street and horns seeming to blast from the heavens (the store balcony) and the event culminated in a brief, but grand, rendition of “New York, New York,” much to the delight of passers by. It was dubbed by both client and agency as an overwhelming success.