Failed Submission Friday: Do Subway Ads Do Anything?

graz phelps lake

Don’t be afraid to take that leap – even if it leads to painful, public failure.*

ratpag will occasionally open its brain to other entities, so to speak, in effort to draw attention to our cause and, more importantly, make money (which ratpag does not do). On most of these occasions, ratpag is rejected.

Today’s submission was made to Gothamist and, while never formally rejected, we assume the 7 weeks of stagnating “in progress” is something of a pocket veto and, thus, we’ll present our work here.  In retrospect, the piece does appear a bit dated and the links in the submitted .pdf don’t seem to work, so there may be significant justification for our slight.  Those damn Bud Light twist-off ads just bother us so much.

Anyway, the first of likely very many finalists in ratpag’s Failed Submission Friday is the following, titled Do Subway Ads Do Anything?

There have been some curious subway ads the past few months – the deplorable Lucas enjoys stairs/drinking/walking Venmo campaign to the “shocking”, “eye-popping” breast augmentation ads – and that makes us think:  what kind of return do these ads see?  How many people have been convinced by the overhead subway ads to invest $3900 in newer, bigger breasts?

The latest widespread advertising is the Bud Light Cool Twist where Bud Light has combined plastic soda bottle technology with aluminum can durability to create the ultimate drinking apparatus.  Apparently this is a long campaign as most mention of such innovation came around the Super Bowl.  According to CNBC, the Cool Twist technology is “the result of $150 million investment in design and production,” which seems like a bit much, but how about advertising in New York City on the subway?

We dug up some data of varying agedness and found on New York magazine’s site that it would cost at least $40,000 per month to cover 200 subway stations and $44,000 per month “to cover 25 percent of a train’t interior ad spaces.”  Not bad considering the $150 million investment.

CBS Outdoor, responsible for providing “an advertiser with inexhaustible ways to target consumers,” is tight on data but has provided a bit of general out-of-home return on investment, or OOHROI, information.  Basically, they promote out-of-home advertising to bring in an average of $2.80 for each dollar spent.  So suppose a 12 pack of Cool Twists costs $12 and you’ve got over 10,000 12-packs of ice cold, resealable units of beer-product sold for the cost of 25% of a subway car.

It’s too soon to tell if all this rampant innovation and advertising has worked for Bud Light as they’re still rolling out various sizes and offerings of their new bottles.  Sales had “dropped 3.3 percent in the first three quarters of 2013,” thus driving the push for “more of this type of shaped packaging” that “feels colder.”

So how have other ad campaigns fared?  Well, Venmo’s still around, though it was purchased by Braintree which was purchased by eBay, who happens to own PayPal, so it wasn’t likely to go anywhere anytime soon.  Despite the ad campaign’s best efforts to discourage its use, out of spite, it does seem quite popular as a way to transfer money and share with everyone on the internet what you transferred money for and who with – because why not?  Apparently “Venmo me” has become a thing.

As for the breast enhancement ads, we can only assume that the average straphanger was not aware that breast enlargement surgery was a thing, has $4000 looking for a way to be spent, and, as a result, has been a wild success.

Non-failed submission ratpag here again – We can pretty easily see, after reading through this submission again, that it was mostly just an excuse to write a Bud Light hit piece, again, and so OK, it failed.  But that’s why we have Failed Submission Friday.

Anyway, it’s the end of the work week, it’s hot, it’s summer – go crack a Bud Light Cool Twist.  You’ve earned it.  Happy weekend!

*These leaps from a boulder at Phelps Lake were made by a few of your ratpaggers during our most recent fact-finding trip to the Rockies.  Here’s the full rock-jumping recap:

This entry was posted in Buses and/or Alcohol, Failed Submission Friday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s