Monday, December 01, 2008


Wheaton returns...

Ken is back. And more than just a little bit here and there at his under-updated romance site -- probably because he's now married! ;-)

Go check his blog.

Meanwhile, in his day blog-job, he comes up with a rather smart idea to help New York's MTA deal with its current funding shortfall -- without cutting services to a dangerous level:
Obviously, we can't let the MTA dig itself out of this hole. From the up-and-down deficits and surpluses to the agency's complete inability to accurately price projects (or finish them), it would be clear to a blindfolded albino cave rat that the show's being run by a bunch of incompetents.

So I say we wrap every train with advertising. They've been doing this for years now with the shuttle train between Grand Central and Times Square. Hell, every time they do it, it gets press for the MTA and attracts gawking tourists. Even here in the jaded halls of Advertising Age, such subway wraps are likely to prompt discussion. (And we all know how discussion is just as good as an actual sale.)

Some so-called purists may object to all this ad clutter, especially on "public" property. But I suggest they help themselves to a huge mug of STFU. An ad wrap is certainly better than the illiterate scrawlings of graffiti artists (though I'd bet a number of marketers would go for that look). It'll put at least a couple of dollars in the MTA coffers. Besides, have you seen the inside of a subway train at any point over the last few decades? Sure, it might be a shame to lose out on the creative masterworks advertising personal-injury lawyers, third-tier colleges that make Phoenix University seem like Oxford and, last but not least, Dr. Z. But I doubt many people will complain.
Sounds good to me. So far, only the History Channel is doing mass advertising on the sides of trains. I think it's the perfect time to increase that. For that matter, there are quite a few train station hallways that could use more signage. Anything better than cutting lines -- especially when those that are cut tend to be in outer-borough neighborhoods already underserved by the subway.

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