Skip to main content

Comparing The Effectiveness Of 3 Metro Ads


The D.C. Metro is running this ad campaign designed to boost recruitment. The tagline is: "Admiration. It's part of the job."

I completely hate these ads.

In this example from the series, we see a "Metro employee" displaying a crayon drawing of himself that a little girl has apparently done and given to him.

I think it's fairly safe to say that this ad strains credulity. There are no little girls drawing pictures of Metro employees.

If you want to hold up a mirror to what these hardworking people actually do, show them calling out repetitive train station names without missing a beat; apologizing for delays courteously; dealing with rude customers and overpacked trains; and handling safety situations and other crises.

The reality of the job is not only more interesting and engaging than the silly fantasy portrayed in the ad, but also has the advantage of being true.


This second ad from Metro deals with sexual harassment on the train and in contrast to the first it is highly effective. 

The letters themselves show a woman literally pushing back against gropers who take advantage of limited physical space to cop a free feel.

And we get the phone and text number right away too.

The only problem of course is that when a situation occurs, you want to document and report it right away, but under thr ground there may not be cellphone coverage.

For the ad to really work, the customer has to be able to act on it.

But overall this is good work.


The third ad, which hangs right next to the other two, is the most memorable and of course this is because it draws on a pre-established powerful brand for the target market.

The ad simply shows us the "CNN" logo on a white backdrop.

It's almost as if the maker is saying, "What more need be said?"

The CNN brand, like every great brand of course, was not built over the short-term but rather represents a significant long-term investment, history and story.

And it shows.

Of course there is one little glitch: What exactly is happening on Sunday at 9 pm, if CNN built its reputation on 24/7/365 availability?

But nevertheless, what we see is that simple, bold and bankable is best. One imagines the conversation provoked by the ad maker:

"What is the authoritative news station around here?" 

"Well of course, CNN."

Three advertisements. 

Three messages.

Three undoubtedly well-researched concepts.

Only one of them truly works. 

Because only one of them is a brand.

___
All opinions my own. Photos by me.


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …