NYC launches ‘We Love NYC’ advertising campaign, receives mixed reactions


NYC Mayor’s Office | Flickr

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

Since the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the day-to-day lives of New York residents, the state has been plagued by negative opinions regarding its quality of life.

Tourism in New York City has dealt with a roller coaster of results since restrictions from the pandemic were lifted, but city and state officials hope that a new advertising campaign will save it from future economic downfalls.

New York officials gathered on Monday to launch a new campaign titled “We Love NYC,” an initiative that aims at re-imagining the city in its post-pandemic era.

According to a press release, the campaign is a citywide mission and will kick off with a celebration of residents who dedicate their lives to community service. One of the themes of the campaign highlights how residents can uplift and support each other in the city’s post-pandemic life.

The campaign will partner with a diverse group of public agencies, nonprofit organizations and small businesses to prove how safe, clean and exciting New York is to set up one’s life in.

Some of the New York-based entities taking part in the campaign include CUNY, the Brooklyn Public Library and the nonprofit organization New York Cares.

Coinciding with “Earth Week,” the first eight weeks of the campaign will include community clean-up events across the city and promotional activities of neighborhood businesses in partnership with the New York City Department of Small Business Services.

This campaign will also promote the opportunity to “Shop Black” at local businesses and participate in a competition to select the best menu items offered by eateries within the city.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke at the launch of the campaign. He asked for “everyone who loves the greatest city in the world” to promote the effort “to every block across all five boroughs.”

“This city overcame the darkest days of the pandemic because of the selfless work of everyday New Yorkers, and if each of us gives just one hour a week in an act of service, the result will be transformative,” Adams said, according to a press release. “That is why I am proud to announce the launch of ‘We Love NYC,’ in partnership with Governor Hochul and the Partnership for New York City.”

The mayor discussed the premise of the “We Love NYC” campaign in an interview with CNBC. He was joined by Kathryn Wylde, the president and CEO of the nonprofit organization Partnership for New York City.

“This is a great city,” Wylde told CNBC. “We’re in a great country. We hope that our campaign can lead the nation, as the mayor said, in bringing back positive feelings, optimism about our future.”

While the goal of the campaign was to remind the world that New York is strong, it has been met with swift criticism from the public.

“This is literally the worst design I’ve ever, ever seen,” BDG Design Director Dewey Saunders tweeted.

New York residents have pointed out the campaign’s logo resembles graphic designer Milton Glaser’s “I Love NY” campaign from the 1970s. At the time, Glaser’s campaign was designed to promote tourism in New York State.

The Partnership for New York City said that it welcomes mixed reviews about its logo.

The “We Love NYC” campaign was led by marketing executive Maryam Banikarim, who leads the consulting firm MaryamB

“We read all the comments, obviously, because we love opinions,”  Banikarim told The Wall Street Journal. “We didn’t set out to replace that logo. It’s an iconic mark; who would do that?”

Graham Clifford, who served as the designer and art director behind the new logo, told The New York Times that the original idea behind the logo was to “give it more of a modern twist.”