By Jennifer 8. Lee October 2, 2008 3:59 pm October 2, 2008 3:59 pm
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled a new advertising campaign that will wrap a train from the 42nd Street Shuttle line both inside and out. It promotes “Cities of the Underworld” on the History Channel. (Photo by Yana Paskova for The New York Times)
So what is not for sale to advertisers in the subway system these days? The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled, for the first time, an advertisement that would cover an entire subway train, every single car, inside and out.
The “full body wrap” will be done on one of the shuttle trains that run between Grand Central and Times Square. In addition, narrow advertising stripes, about two feet high, will run the length of subway cars on the No. 1, 3, 4 and 7 lines for the History Channel series.
These are is just part of the aggressive advertising technologies that transportation authority officials said they were experimenting with this month. Stairs can be sold as advertising space (as they already have been in the Grand Central end of the shuttle). Turnstiles will also be wrapped with ads. (Turnstiles? Well, in the past they’ve already tried selling columns to advertisers.)
Even the tunnels are not sacrosanct. Video advertisements in tunnels, as currently appear in Boston and London, are also expected to be installed in the early part on 2009 in the shuttle line. Riders will be able to view a full motion video through the windows of the car as the train moves.
And in areas where there is high traffic but little advertising space (like the No. 1, 2 and 3 platforms in Times Square)? No matter, the transportation authority is looking into projection technology.
But simply put, advancing technology has allowed advertising to go places it has never gone before. “Twenty years ago, when we contemplated this, we were talking about painting the train,” said Roco Krsulic, director of real estate at the transportation authority, gesturing at the outside of the shuttle train. Until recently, nothing has really been suitable given the heat and speed of the subways.
This year the transportation authority projects that it will received $125 million from advertising, almost all of it via CBS Outdoor, which handles all the authority’s advertising real estate. That is up from $38 million in 1997 and $109 million in 2007. The authority hopes to raise its advertising revenue by 25 percent in the near future.
Is there any place the authority isn’t selling to advertisers?
The ground, at least for right now.
About five years ago, the authority tried putting advertisements on the ground at Union Square. But it did not work very well. The grooves of the tiles caused problems with adhesion, in part because rain and melted snow would run under the ads, Mr. Krsulic said.
But it could just be a question of finding the right technology, he said. It is not that they are not willing to sell the ground space. “I can’t say we won’t ever do that again, because things will change. Things do change.”
I hate the fact the MTA is doing this. The revenue received are hardly worth the assault on one’s senses. The idiot who thought this up should have his or her shrouded in such a manner. This is simply corporate grafitti!
How come a City with so much class has an MTA run by people with so much crass?
Well, it’s either much higher fares or sell even more advertising spaces. I don’t think both MTA and it’s customers have a decent alternative yet. If MTA must sell advertising spaces, then please, by all means, set a standard of quality that assures its customers that they will be greeted with good quality advertisements.
I just saw the new U.S. Navy ads that went up yesterday in the tunnel between the Times Square Shuttle and Grand Central. They are really great and actually pretty moving. I was happy the “Lost” ads went away, to be replaced by stunning photos of Navy men and women.
I beg to differ with you, George (#1). Subway cars are appropriate places for advertising. They are dark and gloomy, not historic, and not scenic. Better there than billboards littering the sky or illuminated moving signs littering the sidewalk at the subway entrances. They’re better than advertising posters covering up beautifully restored historic tile work in the stations. MTA gets extra credit for leaving the windows uncovered (unlike the scary wrapped buses). Adding vitality and human presence is good in stations. Now please, MTA, get rid of the billboards and signs that are plastered everywhere else.
I like the wraps because they’re clean and time limited. When they’re month is up they’re peeled off and another clean set of plastic is applied. Now could they focus on getting rid of the old (expired) ads for using your Metrocard for a discount advertising in the subway.
Does anyone know why Zoni & other a foreign language school is or isn’t to accept different types of students?
During the press event yesterday, I kept saying I just wish my local subway platform was as clean as the shuttle’s. How about we all get the same staffing level as well, while I’m dreamihng when is Penn getting a snazzy new ladies room like the one in GCT’s station master’s office?
And where will all this money go from dressing up a train? If I know the MTA It will soon be down the drain. Why not build an escalator For those of us in pain When climbing up and down the stairs With crutches or a cane?
Why do this on the S? I have to imagine that many of the same people ride it every day, and will see the same ad for a month. Why not do this on a train like the A, 2, or R, that get many different groups of riders, and travel all over?
I would guess that the advertising revenue doesn’t offset more than a few percent of a fare – too bad the story doesn’t give that information. Advertising has a place, but covering a car inside and out is too much! For those who think “better on the cars than on the beautiful tiles”, just wait; next it will be cars AND tiles.
125 million in revenue? Yet they are taking transit passes from children????!!!! How absurd is this? The MTA should be scrapped and turn the system over to the city to run. This is ridiculous that you can pull down this kind of money and take money from children to go to school. The MTA should be ashamed of themselves, but they aren’t. That’s the sad part.