Movin’ On Up

The mainstream media is having trouble adjusting to the new info-rich economy, or so we’re told. Yet, one notable player seems to be well above the fray.
According to New York Times, Privately-owned Hearst Corporation paid for their resplendent new headquarters at Eighth Avenue and 57th Street in Manhattan with $500 million in cash.

It is probably no accident that the new 46-story headquarters, with its geometric form, latest technology and green design elements, stands atop the medieval-style cast-stone husk of a six-story Hearst Magazines office built in the 1920’s. The profile-raising new tower, like its occupant, is a melding of newfangled and nostalgic — a throwback to the future.
Since a vast majority of Hearst’s 20,000 employees are outside New York, magazine staff members will fill most of the new tower’s floors. Corporate executives and some other divisions will take what is left. The original magazine building, completed in 1928, was part of a plan the Chief hatched in his heyday — when he owned three New York dailies — for a gigantic media plaza. Indeed, its structure was built to support additional floors. Realizing Mr. Hearst’s dream of a Midtown skyscraper has been under study for decades.

An edifice of this nature is clearly a bold form of branding. In this case, I like the statement the building makes.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.