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Droga5's 'Recalling 1993' Project Turns NYC Pay Phones Into Geo-Located Time Capsules


Do you remember what life was like in Manhattan in 1993? The rats, the graffiti, the parties, the drugs, the … pay phones. Fear not. The East Village-based ad agency Droga5 and the New Museum have teamed up to give you a glimpse back in time—using that suddenly resurgent old communications device in the process.

Agency and client have launched "Recalling 1993," offering a raw, unfiltered listen to what was going on around New York City 20 years ago. The campaign turns pay phones into geo-located time capsules—dial (855) FOR-1993 from any pay phone in Manhattan, and you will hear a personal account of what was going down in that particular area in 1993, a pivotal year in the city's history. The recordings offer memories of everything from the World Trade Center bombing in the Financial District to the club culture at Limelight in Chelsea to the opening of Angels in America in Midtown.

The effort promotes a new exhibit at the museum, "NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star," which is running through May 26. There are more than 4.5 hours of content in total—over 150 recorded oral histories from real New Yorkers—so hopefully you have some extra time on your hands. See more in the video below, and listen to a sampling of the stories at the link above. Credits below.

Client: New Museum
Campaign: Recalling 1993
Agency: Droga5 New York
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Executive Creative Directors: Ted Royer / Nik Studzinski
Associate Creative Directors: Ray Del Savio / Jerry Hoak
Copywriters: Colin Lord / Bryan Wolff
Art Directors: Jen Lu / Daniel Sumarna
Head of Integrated Production: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer: Scott Chinn
Executive Interactive Producer: Lindsey Slaby
Producer: Jennifer McKenzie
Production Assistant: Goldie Robbens
Technical Director: David Justus
Creative Technology Lead: Fran Devinney
UX Director: Kathrin Hoffman
UX Designer: Eileen Tang
Associate Digital Producer: Ian Graetzer
Senior Print Producer: Jeannie O'Toole
Print Production: Assistant Annick Thomas
Brand Strategist: Matthew Gardner
Strategy Intern: PJ Mongell
Researchers: Amelia Barry / Sarah Gancher / Bo Jacober
Group Account Director: Olivia Legere
Account Director: Caitlin Chandler
Account Manager: Louisa Cronan

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