The TWA fuselage plucked down in Times Square last weekend drew a lot of good local press. It also reminded me of Yogi Berra’s line about "it being déjà vu all over again."
“Connie,” the 1958 Lockheed Constellation that is fated to be a cocktail lounge at the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport, brought to mind the ½ scale model of the supersonic British Airways Concorde, that once sat four stories high atop the then-Hansen’s Brewery, directly across from One Times Square.
New York PR guru Tom Goodman was a co-pilot in the Concorde project. Since the TWA promo, he’s been swamped with emails from friends, asking, "Wasn’t that your idea.”
Ever the humble PR guy, Goodman told O’Dwyer’s, "It was actually British Airways and its agency, M&C Saatchi, that envisioned and executed the plan to bring the world’s largest airplane model to Times Square in 1996.”
The PR ace said some of the best publicity happened before the plane, which had been “parked” on Seventh Ave., was hoisted atop the brewery.
“I distinctly remember a NYPD traffic cop walking by the scene and I thought it would be fun if the plane received a “parking ticket,” he said. “She obliged, and the resulting photograph of her writing a ticket was one of the defining pictures from the entire project.”
The model was removed from Hansen's when its lease expired in 2001. The last Concorde flight flew from New York to London in 2003.
BA donated the model to the “Cradle of Aviation Museum” on Long Island.
A curator at the Aviation Museum called the Concorde model “one of the strange, oddball attractions in New York."
Strange or oddball, some 8.5M people saw the Times Square Concorde each day.
That’s good PR.