Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top Advertising Uses for the MetroCard

The New York Times reported today that New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Agency, our beloved MTA, will sell the front of the MetroCard for advertising purposes.  For you non-city dwellers, the reloadable MetroCard long ago replaced the subway token as the means of entry to New York’s subways and buses.

Since you use it on or below the street, it counts as out of home advertising

Surely, some smart marketer will rig up a smart integrated campaign including QR codes that will make the most of this opportunity.  I suggested some ideas myself last year when the city started promoting its upcoming bike share program.  However, I’m done being helpful.  Instead, I want to throw out some snarky ideas because that’s more fun.

  • Citi Habitats, the rental kings, could run ads with lines like “if this card won’t fit in your apartment, give us a call.”
  • I have to believe that Manhattan Mini Storage, who seem to have eschewed marketing copy entirely in favor of political rants can’t possibly ignore this opportunity.  They already plaster the subway with ads, so why not the MetroCard?

I’ll start: “Mitt Romney’s deep pockets have never seen a MetroCard.”  Whatcha got, Manhattan Mini?

  • Surely, some drug treatment center will go with “Cocaine problem?  Call us.”  Written backwards and upside-down so it appears correctly when viewed in a mirror, of course.
  • Bloomingdales, which has no fewer than six subway lines in its basement ought to color the card brown, like their signature shopping bags.  They’d also need a line of copy like “Next time, buy a Bloomie’s gift card and you’ll really go places.”
  • Undoubtedly, Ralph Lauren will buy space on the cards during the US Open tennis tournament.  Maybe he’ll create one that folds out so that he can reproduce the logo from the ball boys’ shirts in full size.

Don’t ask if you can get a knock-off in Chinatown.  It’s a touchy subject.

  • Speaking of sports, the Mets should buy space on the card to announce “hey, there IS another baseball team in this city, you know.”  And then sell them at 161st Street and River Avenue.
  • Of course, the woeful Knicks would have to get in on the action.  True to form, they could simply buy old, worn-out MetroCards and try to foist those off on the public instead.
  • I guess the Brooklyn Nets could try something, too.  But does the subway even go to Brooklyn?  Help me out here.
  • Lastly, I’d really like NYC & Company, the city’s travel and tourism authority, to buy space and to print detailed instructions on how to use a MetroCard.  I am sick of standing behind tourists at the turnstiles.

Got anything better?  Hit up the comments, please!

1 comment:

  1. I fear/dread imminently having to reach in my wallet to grab a Dr. Zizmor or 1-800-DIVORCE (wouldn't they have a leg up on media buys from their decades of on-car overhead ad buy carpet bombing?)... and pleaseohplease no health Metrocards -- with the fat globules or emaciated lung cancer autopsies... Tho actually this may support their health goals; I for one would choose to walk more.