The City of Syracuse

An uber-interactive campaign puts an entire community back in business.

B2C , Non-Profit , Travel & Tourism

Advertising // Content // Data & Analytics // Design // Digital // Media Planning & Buying // Performance Marketing // Public Relations // Social Media // Strategy & Planning

syracuse video

COVID-19 made something go missing from the streets, restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and businesses in every city of America. It was us.

For the progressive city of Syracuse, New York, the community needed a message that said, “We need all of YOU back.” So when the city lifted its lockdown, we partnered with the Downtown Committee and a group of local leaders to encourage the community to get back out there and—safely and responsibly—“Put the ‘U’ Back in Syrac_se.”

Before we go on, we recommend watching the case study video above for all the facts and feels on this project.

syracuse video 2

The photo op that said open for business.

We launched the Put the “U” Back in Syrac_se campaign by unveiling a massive, interactive mural, which was introduced to the community at a press conference with the mayor, county executive and several local business leaders. As the centerpiece of the campaign, it attracted a lot of attention. It was the site for more than a dozen media interviews—and hundreds of heartwarming photos. From Syracuse? Then be on the lookout for the evolutions of this artwork that continue to pop up around town.

One man’s treasure is another man’s social tactic.

Simultaneously, we announced an online scavenger hunt—using a mobile app that sent players on over 60 missions across the best restaurants, retail, parks and entertainment spots in the city for a chance to win Syracuse-inspired prizes.

As users were hunting for treasure, they were also creating a treasure of user-generated content—helping promote the campaign in another authentic, grass-roots way.

Revive the 315.

To continue the campaign, we had a media mix of TV, radio, outdoor, programmatic banners, a website and a series of social videos which consisted of the letter “U” being designed in more than 30 diverse ways to match the diverse community members who were holding their personalized letter.

We also gave business owners free launch kits including window clings, posters and social media support—of course stopping to indulge ourselves in the tastes, sights and smells they offered. (Name a better trade—we’ll wait.)

That’s cool, but where’s the “U” in results?

Last we checked, our impressions were at 289,800, our visits to were at 7,167 and we had 500 scavenger hunters. We have 300+ #Syrac_se shares on our socials, our organic video views are at 3,415 and we’ve achieved a 94% positive sentiment. So yeah, we’d say we pulled out all the stops. But hey, this is just what you do when a friend has a big announcement. Baby shower, engagement, promotion, entire city opening back up… it’s your duty to pull off a celebration like no other—and we’re already looking forward to rolling out phase two of the campaign. Stay tuned.




Visits to


#SyracUse shares on social


Scavenger hunters


Video views


Positive sentiment

We turn brands into friends.

“Put the “U” Back in Syrac_se” was a branding effort to build consumer confidence. In addition to successfully driving traffic to local businesses, the campaign helped to demonstrate loyalty by communicating the Downtown Committee of Syracuse is working hard to support its members. The community really embraced this campaign and, as a result, now trusts the Downtown Committee as the resource to know what’s open and how to safely return to the places they love.

Key Brand as Friend® drivers:

Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.

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