OSE NYC Office of Special Enforcement


The New York City Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement (OSE) is an innovative, solutions-oriented task force that ensures NYC communities are safe from harmful illegal and unregulated industries that one agency and one set of enforcement tools alone can’t address. OSE is a multi-agency enforcement team that devises strategic solutions-ranging from public education to enforcement action, to complex problems.


  • Industry: Government
  • Location: New York, NY


The Ask

ESM was tasked with developing a media channel plan to achieve the following goals for OSE: 

  1. Drive awareness and an understanding of OSE’s mission
  2. Improve the public’s trust in the OSE office
  3. Build measurable momentum around ideas to impact housing in NYC, including building relationships with advocacy groups and networks, lessening the volume of housing units impacted by Airbnb listings, and reducing commercial/bad actor listings.

The Challenge

Overall, the main challenge OSE was facing was reducing illegal short-term rental activity throughout NYC. Therefore, we created a strategy to bring awareness to and provide clarity about the laws in place for housing and short-term rentals. Another challenge to this initiative was reaching people of all languages and ethnicities, and to do so, activating the campaign in six different languages – English, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Russian, and Korean.

Why it Worked

The Approach

We developed and implemented a first-ever integrated, multilingual advocacy campaign to promote awareness and an understanding of illegal home sharing in NYC.  Key campaign development activities included an extensive discovery exercise and creative pre-testing research to design a relevant and resonant campaign. The campaign addressed three key audience segments: 

  1. Hosts/non-hosts
  2. Neighbors, and 
  3. Tourists, both domestic and international

The Solution

We activated this omni-channel campaign on both digital and traditional channels in six different languages across the 5 boroughs. We launched top funnel strategies including:  

  • Digital programmatic ads on top travel sites, overlaying language and geo data to reach tourists intending on traveling
  • OOH ads in street kiosks, airports, and bus shelters with high foot traffic
  • Print media in trade, neighborhood, and foreign language publications


Campaign Results

This campaign served over 227M impressions across all media channels – 219.7M to NYC area host/non-hosts and neighbors and 7.3M to tourists in the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, and Korea. When compared to pre-campaign period, website traffic increased 1,000% and pageviews increased by 672%. From this overall growth, OSE averaged 600 visitors per day, a 1,000% increase compared to pre-campaign metrics. Most importantly, the campaign generated strong ad recall and created a pro-OSE sentiment amongst users. After exposure to the campaign. the majority of hosts, potential hosts, and neighbors, indicated they were likely to stop engaging in illegal short term rentals. Additionally, the majority of the neighbors indicated they were likely to report an illegal short term property, and their top method of reporting would be via the OSE.




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