May 6, 2010

Capturing Attention Across State Lines

I love reading the OOH ads on my morning “L” commute for a number of reasons:

1. At 8am, they are about the closest thing to ‘literature’ that  my caffeine-deprived brain can process.

2. They are usually so bad, they’re good (read: bad buzz). “Why yes, I am schizophrenic and have bulimia and would like to take a study for five cents an hour…”

3. Once in a very very very veeeeery seldom while, you actually see a well-placed ad that peaks your attention. Surprisingly, that happened to me this morning.

Plastered across my Red Line train were the following posters, creepily styled after a ransom note and cryptically discussing the plight of the “kIdnaPPed ChiCAgoAN”.

One oddly placed ad might not have been enough to convince me to interrupt my one-man staring contest with yesterday’s RedEye (which I’m very good at) – but with the whole car plastered with clues and snippets, I found myself intrigued.

Upon arriving at work, sure enough, I pulled up the URL – surprised to find a social-media-geeked-out travel advertisement for St. Louis, MO. To be honest, I was pretty impressed. Not only did the cross-channel marketing on the L not even mention a whipser of the product, yet still hold my attention long enough to type in a URL, but the payoff – a site chock full of video, Twitter feeds, Google maps and more – sold the end product in a whole new way. Long story short, they got me, I signed up for their contest and I became a sucker. Nice.

Just consider me another statistic, another conversion, but I sincerely appreciated the adventure of it all a hell of a lot more than reading a yellowing placard of “Visit Deleware – the FUN state!”.

Oh, and my RedEye appreciated winning the stare off competition for once.


  1. miguel schaefter

    Agree. This is nice work. Kudos to the client who agrees to creative work that doesn’t scream in your face and simply teases one into wanting to find out more.

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