Seamlessly Integrating Personable Ad Copy

Seamlessly Integrating Personable Ad Copy

I am a man of many talents, but full disclosure, copywriting isn’t one of them.

Having acknowledged that shortcoming, you can understand why when I get energized when I see a great ad in public. On a recent walk down Broadway I passed a bus shelter with a JCDecaux rotating display piece featuring an ad from Seamless, a website offering on demand food delivery.

Seamless bus shelter ad by BBH New York

Something about this ad caught my eye. Was it the bright red background contrasting the grey city street behind it? Nope. Was it the bold font covering 60% of the space? Negative. Was it the company’s logo featured on the bottom of the display? Not at all.

It was the last three words of the four-word copy. I immediately identified with the statement, “is so Jersey”. As New Yorkers, we inherently think that we are superior to all others. From our amazing bagels to our handspun pizzas, we think we know what’s best. This is especially true when it comes to the friendly rivalry with our neighbors across the Hudson. We love our neighbors who travel through tunnels and over bridges to be here with us, but we can all agree that the different cultures and people make each state unique.

The Hudson River separates New York from New Jersey

Those three words are a great example of how a friendly rivalry can be incorporated into ad copy so that viewers immediately identify with the piece. Most marketers and advertisers struggle to come up with creative ideas with minimal amount of text to create the maximum amount of impact that resonates with the target market.

The idea of cooking your own food on that side of the river means that you cannot enjoy the restaurants on this side of the river available to New Yorkers. New York’s easily accessible food delivery culture makes it just as easy to order in from local eateries, as it is to take the time to go shopping and cook a meal for your self at home.


As someone who loves eating at restaurants, this ad hit the nail on the head by targeting my personal psychographics. These strings of thought being that; I dislike eating in, and that I don’t want to be considered a New Jerseyite (sorry guys, our pizza and bagels are better).

The copy of this ad is perfect for a New York street corner. It seamlessly (pun intended) identifies with the friendly rivalry New Yorkers have with Jersey, and creates a call to action that will drive future business. The physical placement near the uptown one train strategically targets tired workers heading home from work, who like myself might not want to spend valuable time shopping and cooking after a long day at the office. Bravo, BBH New York.

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.

When’s The Last Time You Saw The Government Swear?

When’s The Last Time You Saw The Government Swear?

When charged with ensuring millennials listen to the PSA’s plastered on the ceilings of subway cars, what is the easiest way to catch their attention? Swear.

“Outrageous”, “Disgusting”, “Immoral”. These are all words used by a Facebook user to describe a hoax subway overhead ad supposedly by the MTA. My description of the pretend campaign? Pure Genius.

With outrage and controversy growing over the latest photoshop stunt featured below, it is important to step back from the vernacular used and understand the context and meaning of the message.

“Don’t Be A Fuck Boy”

The term fuck boy, recently coined by millennials, is defined in the Urban Dictionary as “the type of guy who does shit that generally pisses the population of the earth off all the time”. In short, this is a person with loose moral character and having little regard for the respect and space of others.

Think back to your last subway ride. Did you encounter someone who was a “pole hog” or “man-spreading”? Chances are you did. The younger generation in New York City is known for disrespecting the space of others on subway cars and furthermore, known for not giving up a seat for the elderly or those who require it. With changing personalities comes a false sense of entitlement. Listen to any Gen X’er and you will hear praise of the good ‘ole days when gentlemen would give up their seat for a lady. There is a reason you hear these remarks more frequently in 2016. Millennials hold a sense of entitlement, arguing that they shouldn’t have to give up a seat, or move out of someone’s way because they paid for that spot, or more commonly “they have a right to be there”.


This fake ad, while vulgar, speaks to the target market of the campaign in terms they understand. By using the vernacular in the ad, the MTA (or mysterious photoshopper) is able to identify with the target market by referencing how their actions can be construed with the negative connotations that follow the moniker “fuck boy”. It is also comedic to note that the red figure in the picture has a white triangle below its neck. This is meant to visually show the shirt is a v-neck cut, a popular shirt style of millennials who will further successfully identify with the ad’s copy.

V-Necks Are A Popular New Shirt Cut

When I think of a great ad campaign, it is one that speaks directly to the target while evoking an emotional response. This fake PSA’s message is loud and clear (to its target), “Millennials, respect the space of others”. While older generations may take offense to the language used in the copy, they should look at the benefits of using such a term to speak to those who need to heed the message the most in a way they will. After reading that ad, most millennials will become aware of their selfish actions, and yield extra space for others to hold onto the pole, or grab an open seat.

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand manager based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.