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NYC: Where placement is paramount

I was assaulted during a recent trip to New York City. Not in the traditional “rode the G train after dusk” sense, but in the same way millions of Manhattanites, Brooklynites (and Queensites?) are during their daily commute to … anywhere.

The culprit was outdoor advertising ubiquitously plastered across metro station walls, Taxis, subway cars and outdoor monitors that dwarf most government buildings from my hometown.

Based on an informal survey I conducted (with approximately 0.00006% of the population), there’s a bit of a love-hate relationship with the stuff. Vandals make statements by defacing subway pieces while hilarious New York-based bloggers keep me giggling with their witty rants. The friends I happened to be staying with — Brooklyn residents — admitted they appreciate a good campaign and that it really gets the city talking.

“I loved the Snickers stuff,” one friend told me during a trek to Manhattan. “Yeah. I even got online to get my custom Snickers name.”

He was talking about a recent Snickers campaign that utilized the chocolate bar’s absurdly good branding to make punny yet memorable statements like “Pledge Sigma Nougat” in the company’s highly recognizable font. How’s that for top-of-mind awareness?

I can’t speak for New Yorkers, but in my case it was a blissful, consensual advertising assault — one that, as a copywriter who sits directly across from our agency’s media buyer, made me visualize fistfuls of $100 bills wafting down from Madison Avenue high-rises. Though $10,000 bills would be more accurate.

The quality proponents over at GOOD Magazine produced a cool video that puts things into perspective by explaining the high cost of placement in New York City. Click on the screen capture below to view the video.


It’s interesting stuff and certainly puts pressure on agencies to produce memorable campaigns in order to stand apart from the competition. Plus, it’s quite the testament to just how many eyes there are flitting around Times Square in the average workday.