Main | Friday, October 03, 2008

Wrappers Delight

The History Channel has launched the MTA's first-ever "full body wrap" ad campaign on the exterior of a subway train.
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 campaign, for the History Channel’s series “Cities of the Underworld,” will run the month of October. 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.

Vinyl advertisements have blanketed the inside of subway cars before, starting in 2005 with HBO’s “Deadwood” series. Since then, the shuttle riders have been immersed in messages from The New York Times, Cottonelle and the Bronx Zoo, among others. The vinyl, which costs about $75,000 per car, requires a little heat and small rollers to apply. And vinyl technology has been used on city buses since 1992.

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.
Turnstyles? Where does it end? I have always enjoyed the full interior wraps of the S train in the past as they were rare enough to be surprising.

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