This year, I traveled solo to New York City for spring break. Given my current economic status as a college student, I took the subway many times each day. During my trip, I noticed and quietly analyzed many advertisements in subway stations and metro cars, as well as throughout the entire city. Some were effective, others were highly questionable, some were graffitied beyond recognition.
One of the most brilliant ad campaigns I saw in the subway system was for a company called Seamless. Seamless.com is a New York based online food delivery company. Each of the advertisements caught my attention for uniqueness, humor, and design simplicity.
Seamless.com connects with people by referencing social media trends and relevant real-life scenarios. In this ad, it states “You joined a ‘meetup’ for people who loathe calling restaurants.” Meetup.com is a social website that connects users to others nearby who would like to meet based on a shared interest. Some of these “meetups” are incredibly specific, such as the imaginary group featured in the advertisement. This is an effective tactic because social networking is highly relevant to their target market’s everyday lives. By referencing the new “meetup” phenomenon, the business appears to be young, hip, cutting edge, and relatable. The target market includes working professionals, ages 22-55, who make up an overwhelming percentage of New York City’s population. These professionals are also highly likely to use public transportation, such as the subway system. The ad placement is spot-on for attracting potential customers’ attention while they commute to work.
I was so attracted to these ads that I searched the website to see if the ingenuity continued- it did. At first, I wanted to see which restaurants were offered and how a New Yorker might order lunch.
The process is simple:
- Login to your Seamless Account through the cell phone app or at Seamless.com.
- Place an order with your restaurant of choice.
- Seamless contacts the restaurant.
- The restaurant contacts you via email with a pick-up or delivery time estimate.
- You receive your food.
It’s efficient because customers can order food via their computer or mobile device, rather than placing a phone call with a particular restaurant. Also, because the order is written, there is very little room for error compared to auditory order-taking. Seamless.com ads reflect the buyer the company hopes to attract, and it certainly worked on me.
Some other subway ads from Seamless (click to enlarge)