The outside of an ad-wrapped Shuttle. (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
Following up on this morning’s news about fully-wrapped subway cars, I’ve gotten my hands on some photographs from today’s press conference. As you can see, one of the 42nd St. Shuttles is now fully wrapped in History Channel advertising.
“We have had tremendous success growing our advertising revenue over the past decade as advertisers have taken advantage of booming ridership to reach record numbers of New Yorkers,” MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot G. Sander said. “In light of the current fiscal crisis, we are pushing the envelope by introducing new advertising strategies that could generate millions in additional revenue for the transit system.”
While this Shuttle is a rather glaring example of a new advertising approach, the MTA isn’t stopping there. Per the agency’s press release:
As part of this October initiative, CBS will employ three additional display strategies. First, the staircase at the Grand Central end of the Times Square Shuttle will be fitted with vinyl displays. Second, one of the remaining Times Square Shuttle trains between Grand Central and Times Square stations will include exterior panel displays. In addition, these exterior panel displays will also be posted on trains that move through Grand Central Terminal and Times Square stations (numbers 1, 3, 4, and 7 trains). And, third, the turnstile arms in the Shuttle fare control areas at Times Square and Grand Central Stations will be equipped with ad covers…
In addition to the above efforts in the GCT/Times Square Area, in the first quarter of 2009 Times Square Shuttle tunnel will also become the home of the first in-tunnel advertising installation. The shuttle riders will be able to view a full motion video presentation through the window of the shuttle car. The MTA is also planning to pilot test a digital dominated station concept at two of the NYCT stations, Grand Central Shuttle Station and 42nd and 6th Avenue Station mezzanine (Bryant Park).
The MTA will also being pilot-testing digital advertising on the exterior of one of its buses and the interior of one of its commuter rail cars. The agency expects to draw in $125 million this year in advertising revenue and expects to see substantial growth if these pilot programs prove fruitful.
It might not look good, but money is money is money. I’m particular intrigued to see the turnstile arm ads, and I’ll take this commercialization any day if it means more money for the MTA’s coffers.