Urban Advertising – When Advertising Comes into our Commute

Hello Fellow NYers!

If you are a commuter like me, most of you are too familiar with some of these advertisements and campaigns. I have a love for not only these urban advertisements but love research so I thought I would dabble into some of these campaign to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Tidy Cats: NOMOREPU Campign

Tidy Cat NoMorePU Campaign

Tidy Cats you have outdone yourself. This campaign provides very unique and relative content within the space. Plain and simple, understand your audience. Everyone in New York can relate to this campaign. Subway systems and public transportation is disguisting. Everyone has experienced a cramed subway, then the next thing you know someone just coughed or sneezed on you. My personal favorite is the, “That cute girl across from you is wearing a Boston cap.”


A great example of what doesn’t work for me. Last weekend I saw an Ad for Daffy’s with a picture of just a hot dog on it. Tag line undernear the hotdog, “If we sold these, they’d only cost 39cents.” Perfect counter example of not knowing your audience. If I was unfamiliar with what Daffy’s brand was I would  still be wondering what they sold. A picture of a hot dog, telling what you DON’T sell doesn’t explain what you DO sell. Maybe this is still why I am not 100% sure what Daffy’s is, I’ve only been there once years ago.

Also, most New Yorkers are commuting, a lot. If they are hunger which most are then all you are really doing is teasing them with a hot dog that is so far out of reach.

Sheets Energy Strips:

Sheets Energy Strips AdsSheets Energy Strips AdsSheets Energy Strips Ads

Classic and my favorite of 2011, the Sheets Energy Strips. Who could not love these? I’m walking down the street usually in a rush or on edge and I see these advertisements. A smile apprears on your face, then you also notice, Hey, there;s phonebooths still around. These not only cheered up my commute but helped me stop and view the world for a moment.

Old New York Advertisements:

Old NY Ads

Confession, my dad was always more fascinated in these ads and was the one who turned me onto searching for these lost treasures. It not only amazes me to take a look back into old New York but it is also amazing to see them still standing. Faded but not painted over, a constent reminder of past techniques.


  • Understand your audience and be relevant.
  • See the Ads from the audiences POV and ask yourself, would this make sense in the space? In this case public transportation.
  • Simplicity…I will never read those long drawn out text peices to learn a new language or any law associates.
  • Understand these commutes are long most NYers will either people watch or read the advertisements. We get bored so push the limits and make them good.
  • Finally, Humor triumps all!

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