I've seen my fair share of annoying ads on the subway. A few that come to mind are: the Asian cheerleader on the Learn English ads, the Latino-focused law firm whose phone number is listed as 1-800-MARGARITA and those stupid Jameson ads that tell you there's nine wrong ways to swipe a Metrocard, but no wrong way to enjoy a Jameson (there's actually fifteen wrong ways to swipe a Metrocard).
However, there is no subway ad campaign that makes me more spiteful of capitalism (or something in that general domain) than the current series of Bank of America ads, which advertise the $10 that they will give you for every $100 you spend on transit. The inspiration behind the ads is that their offer comes as SUCH a relief to the 'average New Yorker', that it makes these 'average New Yorkers' wonder what other 'New York' frustrations Bank of America might be able to address (assuming, I guess, that people really can't stand paying as much as they do for subway fares). Although I've actually wanted to do a post on these ads all semester, it wasn't until last night that I happened to spot them on a relatively empty J train going over the Williamsburg bridge last night. Here's the first of the two I shot. You should be able to understand pretty easily what I find so creepy about them:
Man, lemme tell ya- those studios below 23rd Street = SO EXPEN$IVE. City life sure comes at its price!
COME ON BANK OF AMERICA!
How can Bank of America/MTA be so indiscriminate about the placement of their ads? I'm not going to go into why this ad makes them seem so clueless about 'average New York life' (if there even is such a thing), but given that they are, why would they let everyone on the subway know about it? And if they're going to put in on the subway, why put in on the J, which makes a total of about 6 stops inside Manhattan, before it horseshoes back into Brooklyn on both ends. This seems like an ad more appropriate MAYBE for Times Square, though it probably would be most suitable in Disney World, or anywhere that people wouldn't realize how manufactured and implausible the idea of complaining about housing prices "below 23rd street" is.
And then there's this one (unfortunately didn't come out quite as well. I was trying not to weird this woman out to much). Apparently this chap here with the long hair would do just ANYTHING for 'cabbies' these days not to give a hard time about crossing into the DMZ known as Brooklyn. Poor guy I guess will have to settle for taking the J instead...