Delta Profiles New Yorkers Who Wouldn't Mind Fleeing Their Living Quarters for a Bit

W+K's 'Small Stories' feels their pain

In its new mini-docuseries, Delta Air Lines focuses on noisy, smelly, overpriced spaces with inadequate legroom that make you want to scream.

We're not talking about passenger cabin of a Boeing 717 (perish the thought!), but tiny New York City apartments. In the films, Delta's comparatively comfy accommodations are positioned as providing a welcome respite from such paltry urban dwellings.

Each installment of "Small Stories," devised by Wieden + Kennedy, runs less than a minute, and presents real New Yorkers who live in cramped, awkward quarters.

We meet Christian, who lives on a boat in the Hudson River without A/C, a television, WiFi or a working sink; Jennifer, from West Harlem, who bemoans sharing one bathroom with three roommates; and Mariko and Ary, who inhabit a 300-square-foot Chinatown flat with no closets.

"New York isn't always comfortable," the spots conclude. "Flying out of it is."

Yeah, even coach is roomier than some of those places. 

"The brief was all about Delta's comfort amenities out of New York, which just so happens to be one of the most uncomfortable cities on the planet," says W+K copywriter Brad Phifer. "So, we came up with the idea of finding New Yorkers living in the most uncomfortable apartments in the city, and helping them escape with a little Delta comfort. After all, one of the great things about living in New York is leaving New York, and then getting to come home to New York. Plus, there's nothing New Yorkers love more than seeing how other New Yorkers live."

Shot specifically for phones, the vertical images accentuate the tight living spaces and reinforce Delta's value proposition.

"On top of that, we drove traffic to the docs with mini-films in digital subway boards, so New Yorkers could watch while they waited for their train," Phifer says.

The subway! Gotham's the gift that just keeps on giving.

"The boat was so small that we had to charter a second boat to hold the rest of the crew," recalls agency art director Grant Mason.

Sure, escaping every now and then feels great. But be careful, New Yorkers, because you might wind up carrying around baggage from your trips for a very long time. (Even after you've moved to spacious split-level digs in Westchester County.)

CREDITS

Client: Delta Air Lines

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy New York
Executive Creative Directors: Karl Lieberman
Creative Directors: Sean McLaughlin, Matthew Moore
Copywriter: Brad Phifer
Art Director: Grant Mason, Jed Heuer
Executive  Producer: Cheryl Warbrook 
Account Team: Casey Jennings, Lauren Smith, Kerry O’Connell, Lesly Ramirez
Planning Director: Kirstie Maryott 
Strategist : Brendan Chareoncharutkun
Social Strategist : Adrian Brinkley 
Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
Business Affairs: Lindsey Timko
Traffic Manager: Sonia Bisono, Madeline Hale
Project Management: Devyn Schnake

Production Company: Object & Animal 
Director: Oscar Boyson
Executive Producer: Justin Benoliel / James Cunningham / Dom Thomas
Line Producer:  David Duque-Estrada
Director of Photography: Kevin Phillips

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Charlie Porter
Post Producer: Brian Schimpf
Editorial Assistant: Sebastian Allen

VFX Company: Dungeon Beach
Colorist: Na Thirakomen
VFX Flame Artists: Carlos Raya
Producer: George Dellinger

Sound Design 
Sound Designer: Brett Fuchs

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.