We did more to promote Williamsburg | Brooklyn than anyone else alive.
From 2000-2006, the founding members of BinkNyc Culture printed 548,000 copies of a heavy weight, high-quality, color glossy magazine for Williamsburg | Brooklyn. The publication was named after the area’s Zip Code: 11211. It was exclusively developed to promote the first stop in Williamsburg | Brooklyn on the L Train; Bedford Avenue.
Half of 10,000 copies, per issue, were distributed in Manhattan to get people to visit Williamsburg. The other half were distributed in Brooklyn. And the plan worked beautifully.
This was accomplished using both a brand implementation process called: Magic + Logic. Then we used another seldom known modality called Tetrad Management, invented by Marshall McLuhan.
On Bedford Avenue we connected business owners to local artists. We promoted the art galleries. We promoted underground parties, the newer and older businesses. We adamantly promoted the lifestyle of new and spawning creativity and the constitutional; FREEDOM of SPEECH. This is what would later become synonymous with the resurgence of Williamsburg|Brooklyn—making it cool again—and then driving millions of tourists to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn now had more content and more substance. It became a better brand than it was before.
Something new was happening there. We didn’t create the whole blaze by any stretch of the imagination but we collected the wood and lit the fire. Then we stoked it for half a decade.
Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue subway stop would become an entry point to Brooklyn, now known and loved internationally—a place of youthful expression. In the pages of 11211, you could be reading an article in English, then the next page might be in Spanish, Yiddish, Polish or Italian. We were good like that.
When you emerge from the train today, there is a five ring circus going on at Bedford Avenue with shuffling crowds of people and all kinds of street vendors and there’s always something to do whether you are upper, lower or middle class. This has always been Brooklyn to us.
Over half a million copies (548K) of 11211 Magazine were distributed in specific Manhattan and Brooklyn locations promoting the area over a six year period. The Williamsburg “Brand” was designed to show: “We have great art and culture, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. That, and above all Williamsburg is a place where you can fulfill your dreams, connect with the right people, people doing things and make those dreams happen—the American Dreamland.
We conveyed an amazing ideology that Brooklyn was cooler thou if only because it is a place you can connect with people everywhere. We posed as we didn’t want Manhattanites to come to Brooklyn! 😀 This exclusivity premise worked amazingly well when we distributed 5,000 copies of each 11211 Magazine in Soho, Greenwich, the East Village and Union Square.
They wanted in. It was because they weren’t invited. So, they came.
Those of us old enough to remember the great divide between Brooklyn and Manhattan knew if you were from Brooklyn or any of the outer boroughs, including New Jersey, you were considered “The bridge and tunnel crowd” by Manhattanites. This had less to do with geography, and more to do with cultural (fashion) and intellectual differences. We (@ 11211) embraced those differences. It is the foundation of a good brand.
11211 Magazine‘s publisher and founder, Breuk Iversen said: “When I returned to Brooklyn from Manhattan in 1998, Brooklyn wasn’t even keeping track of their tourism numbers. They only started recording statistics in 2001. There was no real reason to collect tourism data back then because it wasn’t a very significant factor worthy of data collection. Brooklyn and Queens were considered the sprawling bedroom of NYC’s blue collar class. That’s all we had.”
BinkNyc (aka 11211) rebranded Williamsburg and Brooklyn for a new culture and ecology of creatives, outcasts, innovative start-ups artists and musicians and ambitious expressives. The Bedford Avenue subway stop on the L train was the perfect entry point to the borough—minutes from Manhattan.
Back in 1998, Williamsburg was a very rough, depreciated neighborhood, high in crime, and considered a post-industrial wasteland since WWII. The area had (and still has) many Superfund sites—forgotten carnage of the 1940s, post-war Industrial Revolution.
Today, Williamsburg and Brooklyn’s Brand reputation attracts 10-15 million tourists, nationally and internationally. The promotion of the area was not an accident and didn’t ‘just happen‘ through good luck or some auspicious turn of unknown events.
It was intended and designed.
11211 (BinkNyc) had done more publicity
for the area than any
other person or entity alive.
These infographics below show the cause and effect:
Everything we [ BinkNyc ] do is based on the belief of promoting freedom of speech. Secondly, we do this in a free society who supports self-expression and achievement.
Unlike other publications in Williamsburg, we didn’t reflect the VOICE of the “in-crowd”—transplants or hipsters. We embraced the community as whole (ethnically): Hassidic; Polish; Hispanic; Italian. That, and Williamsburg had all the potential ingredients of a easily accessible bohemian alcove for artists and musicians—centrally located, and one train station away from Manhattan (Bedford Avenue). as they say “location, location, location.” Empty lofts were filled with artists and musicians. The Bedford stop was also nicknamed “Avenue E.”
Video produced by Hannah Park of New York University
For ADVANCED marketers
and cultural experts.
One of the main techniques we (The Offalists) used in 11211 Magazine’s development and promotion was something called: Tetrad Management. This technique and system is still used everyday by most Think Tanks globally.
Here’s what the Tetrad looks and feels like:
BinkNyc transforms a company into a culture,
grows businesses into movements,
improving peoples’ lives.