Startup Ad Campaigns in the NYC Subway

It’s been interesting to me to see how startups have been advertising in the New York City subway in recent years. These ads from Casper are notable because of their genial illustration style. (As it happens, we recently bought a Casper mattress for a spare room in our house; the product does live up to the hype.)

Casper Subway Ads
Casper Subway Ads

These ads from StreetEasy also caught my eye. The particular illustration style they employ is not my exact taste, but I’m a fan of the fact that the company was willing to stray away from the antiseptic, vector-based illustration style that seems to be de rigueur for technology companies. Overall I think they’re great.

StreetEasy Subway Ad

And then there are startups’ ads that are notable less for their aesthetic than for their attitude. I wrote very briefly about this brazenly obsequious advertisement for Uber back in February:

Uber Bus Shelter Ad: “You’re important and in a hurry.”

The basic worldview of that ad—that these customers are more important than the average person—shows up in advertising from other startups, too. Here’s one for TaskRabbit that I spotted recently; its message seems to be that cleaning is something that other people should do for you, so you can spend your time on more important things, like yoga:

Task Rabbit

The worst ad of this type that I think I’ve seen is from Seamless, which delivers restaurant take out. This particular billboard makes no bones about the idea that people who speak other languages—foreigners, basically—should really be doing the bidding of its privileged customers.

Seamless Ad