NYC-based self-storage operator Manhattan Mini Storage has once again applied outside-the-unit thinking to its advertising.

In conjunction with its 40th anniversary, Manhattan Mini Storage rolled out a new ad campaign with this tagline: “Mini storage. Maximum you.”

The campaign features the Storage Guru, the brand’s new spokesperson, and New York performers interpreting real-life customer experiences in a series called “Manhattan Mini Stories.”

Concept Farm, a New York City creative agency, developed the campaign in tandem with Manhattan Mini Storage.

As Manhattan Mini Storage explains, the Storage Guru supplies “sage” advice to Manhattanites to help them reach “storage nirvana.”

“Pushing boundaries with sharp political commentary, a refined outfit selection, and a mystical spiritual journey, the Guru grabs the attention of city dwellers everywhere to continue his mission: pointing New Yorkers towards the path of enlightenment by freeing themselves from stress and clutter to fully maximize life in the Big Apple, all thanks to Manhattan Mini Storage,” the company said in a news release.

Manhattan Mini Storage said the series of short films “brings quintessential New York experiences to life in a dramatic way with the help of local performance artists.”

Here’s the lineup in the film series:

  • Barbra, a fashionista whose added hanger space frees her from apartment hang-ups. She’s portrayed by drag queen Alexis Michelle in “Storin’ Alive.”
  • The Feldmans, who use self-storage for their chain of doughnut shops, called Doughnuttery. This episode, “Oh, Sweet Storage,” is narrated by spoken-word artist Advocate of Words.
  • Andrew, a newlywed who owns custom clothing store Curated Basics and stashes garments in a self-storage space. Andrew’s story is re-enacted in “Much Ado About Storage” by Shakespeare in the Square.
  • Nahabed and Jaime, whose “Super Storage” tale involves the safekeeping of a comic book collection pantomimed by Broken Box Mime Theater.

Jon Dario, president of Manhattan Mini Storage, said his company “has always embraced and highlighted real customer experiences through our advertising campaigns in unconventional and entertaining ways.”

Hot button marketing

“Unconventional” is just one way to describe Manhattan Mini Storage’s decades-long approach to advertising. The company has 17 facilities in New York City.

In 2014, Fast Company magazine noted that the self-storage operator had “perfected its distinct, snarky voice with dozens of billboard ads that address hot button issues on New Yorkers’ minds including gay culture, right wing politics, abortion rights, and perhaps most shockingly, why the Mets even bother calling themselves a professional team.”

Industry acclaim

Industry veteran Holly Fiorello, director of marketing at CallPotential, a tenant communication and CRM platform for self-storage operators, said Manhattan Mini Storage is “like royalty” in self-storage marketing circles thanks to its “cheeky” ads. Fiorello called the self-storage operator’s latest advertising installment “brilliant and on brand.”

“I like the direction that this campaign is going — to focus on real-world attributes of their customers. It humanizes our industry,” she told the SpareFoot Storage Beat.

Fiorello applauded the brand for highlighting the stories of local business owners in the “Manhattan Mini Stories” installments. The “Manhattan Mini Stories” and Storage Guru videos will perform well on social media, she predicted.

“The videos are short, sweet and full of movement, which will feel more like welcome entertainment rather than an advertising interruption,” Fiorello said.

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