Case Studies of New York-Centric Ads

By the time you arrive at work in the morning, you have already been bombarded with ads.  Simply by walking to and out of the subway, and by being on the subway, you have already seen hundreds of images, logos, and slogans.  You are exposed to more than you realize; just try counting the ads on your commute tomorrow.  I take the 4/5/6 to get to work in the morning, and love paying attention to my morning subway’s ads.  Two of my favorite ad campaigns at the moment include and Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign and StreetEasy’s “Find Your Place” campaign.  This had me thinking about what works about these campaigns.  I realized that they actually have a lot in common—they both target New Yorkers in a way that pokes fun at their ridiculousness.

As a Jersey girl, I immediately noticed the immense differences between New Jersey and New York when I moved here about four years ago.  New Jersians have a reputation of being small-town and nice.  New Yorkers are known for being pretty much the opposite of that.  They have a reputation of being loud and audacious.  These differences made moving a state away feel like moving a world away.  I’ve learned a lot in this crazy city, mostly that you should be confident and try to expect the unexpected.  I’ve learned that New Yorkers are filled with contradictions—they want to go to brunch and yoga but they don’t want to spend money, they want to sleep but they also want to bragplain to their friends about how little they sleep.

        Seamless and StreetEasy understood just how crazy New Yorkers can be when they released their campaigns.  Seamless’ “How New York Eats” campaign includes tongue-in-cheek one-liners that harness the insanity that is New York dining.  One of my favorites goes, “Nothing ruins a good meal like other New Yorkers.”  The ad includes a graphic of the New York skyline.  The ads’ color schemes are bold, using background colors such as red, yellow, and blue.  All of the graphics are cartoonish, with fonts of all kinds.  The goal is to be fun enough to capture the attention of their target audience, New Yorkers, in an age where information is constantly thrown in consumers’ faces.


        StreetEasy also created their campaign around the idea of poking fun at New Yorkers in their “Find Your Place” campaign.  My favorite ad from this campaign reads, “No doorman for me.  I have enough people in my life judging me.”  This is just funny, and also points to the contradictory nature of New Yorkers—they want a doorman, but they also don’t want more people in their lives to judge them.  The ads in this campaign are subtler than Seamless’ ads; they are all different shades of blue, with words all in the same font, and with more subdued graphics.  The ads are unique in their format.  For example, in the doorman ad, the word “doorman” has a check mark next to it, as though you are on StreetEasy’s website and have the option of checking or exing the doorman box.

        Basically, New Yorkers are crazy, and ad creators are checking in to this truism.  I appreciate a good ad, and I’ve learned to love New York, so the combination that is utilized in Seamless and StreetEasy’s clever ads makes me smile.  What a funny city.  I heart NY.

By Ilana Weinberger

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1. Carrie in a Coffeeshop?

In 2013, MGM Studios decided to make a remake of Carrie. Remakes can be risky and expensive if it does not grab the public attention. With the help from Thinkmodo, MGM installed fake walls, remote controlled tables and chairs, and even stunt men in a coffee shop to create a “real world” telekinetic Carrie. It was a huge success, and the viral video racked up over 65 million views. 

2. Red Bull is Astronaut Food? 

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3. Coca- Cola: The Happy Drug

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