Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In The Mouths of Madness


(A smile is worth a thousand feet of advertising space.)

If you're like me and you happen to commute through the Columbus Circle subway station a lot, then you know how the long-ass walkway from the entrance at 57th and 8th Ave to Columbus Circle proper (where the ABCD and downtown 1 trains connect), has been a long-time victim of construction/renovation woes. It seems like it'a gone through 4 or 5 cycles - spanning the course of several years - where they'd lay down tiles, almost get to the end of the job and then tear it all up and start over. Now it seems the floor is finally complete, but they still have much left to finish on the station as a whole.

For instance, it seemed at one point like they were aiming to create retail space on both sides of the tunnel. Hence they lined the walls with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, presumably so people could see the merch inside. That's the way it is underneath 8th ave at 42nd st. It eventually became clear, however, that all people were going to see looking through the glass was massive amounts of construction equipment and bags of cement. Since that's not pretty to look at, the MTA came up with a way to obscure the fact that they were never gonna finish this project and also bring in a little pocket change. They covered all the glass with advertisements! But not a bunch of different advertisements. Oh no! They did one HUGE advertisement with the same images being shown over and over again.

First it was a horrible Levi's ad. A guy and a girl looking bad in bad outfits in a bad photo spread. Oh, how it hurt my eyes! And it was all over the place! The thing with these giant ads is that its impossible to avoid looking at it unless you walked with your eyes shut, which I don't recommend in the subway (or elsewhere).

Then they got rid of that one and replaced it with an ad for Mohegan Sun. This one took 4 guys and 4 girls and matched them in every pairing imaginable so that every gay, straight or bi person out there would be able to see they too could have a good time at Mohegan Sun. This ad campaign was much more tolerable in terms of design, color scheme and message than the Levi's ad.

But now they've gone and replaced that with a bunch of giant mouths. I mean GIANT mouths. They are everywhere!! And they are TOO BIG!

(giant mouths with giant shiny front teeth and giant mouths with no front teeth!)

(giant mouths with beards)

(giant mouths with braces! giant mouths all the way down the line!)

(giant crazy mouths!)

Crest is responsible for this insanity. I get that the teeth are all clean and THANK GOD it's not some anti-smoking ad because you KNOW those people would be forcing us to look at black lungs and tobacco stained teeth and amputated fingers and zoomed-in tracheotomies given the chance. But still... If the whole station has to be covered in ads, can it not be giant human orifices, even clean ones sponsored by Crest? I'd really appreciate that, MTA, so that I don't go out of my mind or have to change my whole commute around just to avoid them. Thanks!

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