Grand Central Terminal Guests “Floored” During the Holidays

Visit any busy, bustling place, and oftentimes the phrase, “It’s like Grand Central in here” comes to mind.

Dalton, Ga., flooring manufacturer, Shaw Floors, took that sentiment to heart when it was approached to sponsor the six-week Centennial Holiday Fair in the Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

Shaw’s agency, Empower MediaMarketing, knew this was poised to be more than a presenting sponsorship and used the “Grand Central” phrase to its advantage — especially since it was challenged to obtain exposure for Shaw well after the sponsorship ended.

A Historic Opportunity: the Facts

Travel + Leisure rated Grand Central Terminal the world’s tenth most-visited tourist attraction for its roughly 21.6 million annual visitors. One million of those tourists pass through it during the holiday season alone, totaling tens of millions of footsteps.

Empower took these details and formulated a concept that would help Shaw Floors get major visibility not only during the holiday season, but for months afterwards.

The Campaign

Shaw Floors covered the entire 100-year-old marble floor of Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal with its hardwood, carpet and vinyl flooring in preparation for the holiday fair.

“Just like our homes, the floors of Grand Central Terminal are put to the test each day with kids, messes and weather,” said Randy Merritt, president of Shaw Floors. “Design and durability have been at the core of Shaw Floors and Grand Central Terminal for decades, setting a strong foundation for this partnership in one of the busiest rooms in the world.”

The flooring was selected to complement the iconic architecture of the building. During the holiday fair’s opening ceremony, guests were welcomed the same way celebrities were greeted in the 1920s — with a red carpet and a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included performers from New York City’s celebrated Rockettes.

Expanding Success

The presenting sponsorship could have been just that — a simple one-off sponsorship, but Empower expanded it into a cross-platform campaign that included branded and non-branded content, paid media, social media, media relations, in-store, content discovery and email exposure.

The team also produced video content that included footage of the holiday fair, designed to target an in-market audience during their exploration and final purchase stages.

The success of the event, which began as a simple durability test, turned into an 18-month campaign and included a sweepstakes, paid media, online display and social media campaign resulting in over 10 million impressions and the highest engagement levels ever. Thousands of floor dealerships nationwide were sent swatches of the Grand Central Challenge flooring, proving Shaw’s commitment to durability.

“If the floors can withstand the rigors of Grand Central, think of what they could do in your homes,” said Merritt. “Flooring this beautiful is strong enough to withstand any rush hour … including yours.”


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