Motion Theory for NYC Tourism

This new spot from Motion Theory designed to promote the The Big Apple has been making the rounds, but it’s with a little hesitation that I post it here. MTh did a bang-up job as always. Various illustrative and 3D styles are tossed together in a visual salad that holds together nicely. But there’s something amiss in the underlying concept.

The best thing about visiting New York is the way the city surprises you. A dingy door at the end of a hidden alley turns out to be the greatest salsa bar in the universe. An impromptu parade through Brooklyn sweeps you and your kids away in a cacophony of noise and music. It’s the things you can’t plan about New York that make it worth a visit.

And while this spot does focus on surprise, it feels more like the kind found in pop-up books: in your face and lacking subtlety. The complete lack of narrative feels like a real lost opportunity to explain what makes New York a truly magical place. It’s the about the stories you tell when you come back, not what you see when you’re there.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Pretty, but when it comes to conveying the sense of what the city is really like, how it’s so special, it’s not as successful as this:

Directed by Glendyn Ivin. One of the most talented directors to come out of little Melbourne town…..


spot on, justin. couldn’t agree more. the NYC spot, while technically awesome, is so disneyworld.

on the flipside, that melbourne spot is fan fucking tastics.


this is way to saccharin. the contrast between that gray nyc grittiness (that even in this spot shines through) and the sesame street animation that just seems slapped on sometimes is bizarre and makes the spot feel out of touch.

dan savage

jasonk nailed it. this just doesnt make much sense


Hmmmm, I would love to go to NYC someday… The video is very sweet and I would have to agree that it has failed to showcase the essential makings of NYC…

Love the melbourne spot… I love the concept of the spot and the song tops it off completely…


vogue shot is particularly eye-catching. proper!


I agree.. the vogue shot was definitely eye catching… I like the concept of it. :)

dan savage

by the way

“A dingy door at the end of a hidden alley turns out to be the greatest salsa bar in the universe.”

is this a reference to the classic new york love tale “along came polly”?

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