Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Effective Advertising?

Driving by a bus shelter near my home I saw an advertisement for city transit. It said, "Ride With Us... You Never Know Who You'll Meet", and there was a picture of a well dressed older man sitting beside an outrageously dressed punk rocker girl. Both of them are looking at each other, smiling in obvious delight in having met each other.

But is this realistic? Hardly. She's probably wondering if this old guy is a sicko who is going to ask her on a date, and he's asking himself "why did I fight in World War 2 if I'm handing the country over to weirdos". More importantly, does this ad present a likely reason for me to want to ride the bus to work? I'm a people person, and I like meeting new people, but this ad dissuades me from wanting to ride the bus. Yes, I've known some really nice intelligent people who are into heavy metal, but I wouldn't ride the bus to meet the unusual personalities of the world. People ride the bus to save money.

All of which would be funny, except for the fact that a larger amount of my property taxes go to supporting transit than what goes to pay for the police.


Anonymous Ellen said...

I saw that ad too and was thinking about it - it would turn me off riding the bus because when I do it, the main positive side of the experience is the time when I don't have to talk to anyone and can read uninterrupted for 1/2 an hour. If I had to maintain surface level social chit chat for that long before and after every busy workday, I'd avoid the bus as much as possible.

9:36 a.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

Maybe they should expand their advertising campaign. Maybe they could point out the possibility that the person sitting beside you has antibiotic resistant tuberculosis, as a way of encouraging people to ride.

8:27 p.m.  

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