Why Have a Press Release When You Can Have a Movie Trailer?

On Tuesday, Union Square Hospitality Group teased the forthcoming opening of their new restaurant Manhatta, located on the 60th floor of the 28 Liberty skyscraper in New York’s Financial District, with a 52-second-long movie-like trailer that juxtaposes the contrasting scenarios of sweeping cityscapes and detailed close-ups of what is going on in the kitchen, including richly-textured root vegetables, glistening cuts of meat and lush produce.

“We wanted the video to communicate the height of the space and the grandeur of the view, but also the intimacy and tangibility of the hospitality,” Amelia Mayberry, Director of Marketing for Union Square Hospitality Group, told Skift Table: more specifically, this approach is meant to showcase how Manhatta can be a new chapter in New York City’s tradition of top-floor dining institutions. (Rainbow Room, anyone?)

In fact, the website copy  presents Manhatta as having “sky-high views with the intimacy of a neighborhood spot.” This duality emerges in the choice of the color palettes too: the muted greys of the city are juxtaposed with the richer and warmer tones of the kitchen. “New Yorkers love the grit and round-the-clock energy of our city, but restaurants are where we go for warmth, respite, and conviviality,” Mayberry elaborates.  Digital production agency Shoot To Kill shot the video, and none of the footage is archival. It took three days of shooting and three weeks of production work to complete it.

As for the choice of video over still photos and a boilerplate press release, Mayberry chalks it up to food being, ultimately, a multi-sensory experience.  “Through video, we could capture the feeling of the restaurant through our own lens on our own channels in a way that’s not possible through traditional media,” she said, noting how sounds and texture are an essential component in a dining experience. “Also, we know that so many of our guests get their food and restaurant news on social media — especially Instagram — so we wanted to share something eye-catching for guests to enjoy on their phones.”

Angelica Frey is a writer living in Brooklyn by way of Milan. Twitter: @angelica_frey

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