Now Arriving on the Brooklyn-Bound Track, the Worst Ad Placement Ever

Photo: Doug Gordon/##
Photo: Doug Gordon/##

Whoever convinced Jaguar to buy this ad wrap, spotted by Doug Gordon, is earning his or her salary. I mean, what do the F train and the F-Type have in common, other than the letter F?

Yes, they’re both transportation vehicles. But one costs around $2 per trip while the other starts at $69,000 — plus taxes, license fees, insurance, parking, gas, and maintenance. Seriously, who sees this ad and thinks, “I believe I’ll trade my MetroCard for a $1,500 a month debt load”?

The F train doesn’t have a top speed of whatever, but it can get from 14th Street to Prospect Park with just 12 stops in between. And there’s no battling the horn-honking morass at the toll-free East River bridges.

“Good To Be Bad” — what’s that about? Good to be a bad driver? Good to be bad with money? Hard to tell given the context.

Jaguar can’t seem to settle on a tagline these days, but I notice they didn’t pick “Mark Your Territory” for this one. Maybe that’s because when it comes to getting around NYC — in terms of cost, convenience, and speed — the subway leaves even the most bombastic hot rod in the dust. No lame slogan can change that.

  • Pursuant

    So who’s going to take out the ad showing a Jaguar F stuck in gridlock?

  • red_greenlight1

    Maybe on the autobahn but in Manhattan probably not.*

    *Unless it’s late at night, a weekend, or the MTA just feels like screwing with the F.

  • Danny G

    When you’re drunk, or want to read, or want to catch up on email, or need a nap, or are taking a one-way trip, or don’t have time to look for parking, or want someone else to drive, there’s only one F that will get you home safely. F train, you are the Patrick Ewing of the subway system, and we know we can count on you.

  • Emmily_Litella

    What a scourge advertising is. David Gunn tried to eliminate visual clutter from the system with, great success in the 1980s. In doing so, he increased the value of the thoughtfully placed and uniformly framed ads that remained. Its all come back, worse than ever, all over the turnstiles, narrow congested stair landings, Metro-cards. How is this any better than sprayed on graffiti? How do visual distractions like this contribute to system safety? Batch of schmucks running the place now.

  • Fbfree

    Or wrap a jaguar with an ad for the F train?

  • Depends if it affects the bottom line of the MTA. I would say throw ads all over the place if it resulted in improved service, lower fares, or even a changeover in the signalling to allow certain lines to finally give ETAs.

  • carma

    im willing to bet that jag is not going to beat the F train that runs along 6th ave when in traffic. although, i do love this jag.

  • Robert Wright

    My daughter – who gets plenty of sustainable transport propaganda in her home environment – takes the F Train every day from Smith-9th St to Coney Island to go to school. I’m away from home on a trip (covering the Detroit auto show, as it happens) and she phoned me specially to tell me about these adverts.

    She said the kids were all pretty excited about them and all the boys took pictures of them with their ‘phones.

    I guess people buy adverts because they work.

    On balance, I think I preferred the storyline in Mad Men about how best to advertise a Jaguar F Series.

  • Chris

    Get over yourselves. This helps pay for the system. Jesus.

  • Mark Walker

    Transit use is at all time highs; less driving, especially among the young. This ad is an attempt to reverse the irreversible. I love it when the auto industry lets out a good loud death rattle, especially when it pays for the privilege.

  • red_greenlight1

    Really it’s not that big of a deal at all.

  • Joe R.

    The ads are sadly a reaction to reduced transit funding. I totally agree with you-ads don’t belong on public transit at all. We need to increase transit funding to make it so. Besides being visual clutter, they’re undoubtedly a distraction in a place where people shouldn’t be distracted for safety reasons.

  • Joe R.

    The F train goes from 63rd and Lexington to 179th Street in Queens in 29 to 30 minutes. I’d love to see a F-type do that at any time other than after midnight. And there’s the potential to easily cut 5 minutes or more off that time once CBTC is installed on the Queens Boulevard line. The trains aren’t running anywhere near their capabilities.

  • ? “F” that! #EffedToBeBad

  • StepUpAndSaySomething

    It’s not a big deal, but it is visually insulting to have ugly adds on every surface. But the question is how much money does the MTA really get from each time we need to look at this garbage. I’d love to see some research into the affect that corporate graffiti has on people’s graffiti and littering. If people live in an ugly environment, they’re more likely to treat it poorly. The extra income from ads might go out the window with the extra clean up in stations.

  • Emmily_Litella

    Suppose your landlord were ‘bold and creative’ enough to lower your rent by $1 per month by wrapping your apartment building with a different ad every month. Would that be cool? Why is it okay to treat the public realm like shit to benefit a few?

  • no

    I agree that it is visual clutter, but it does help raise revenue. I’d rather look at a garish ad as I’m boarding a train that stare at the tunnel wondering when the train is going to come.

    All that aside, putting this on the F line is stupid. The Lex line is where their customer base is! Well-heeled UES’ers + over capacity line = target audience.

  • Mike

    Makes me dream of a return of the graffiti-covered trains of the 70s and 80s. That ad would last a week before somebody made a mural over it.

  • qrt145

    While I don’t object to advertising on MetroCards in theory, in practice it’s a pain because it makes them much harder to recognize. At least when you got them buried in a messy desk! 😉

  • qrt145

    Yes, but do they have a “Lex-type” Jaguar?

  • Very odd to promote other, very wasteful and dangerous, forms of transportation when the MTA should promote public transportation.

  • JamesR

    I’m against any ads at all on MTA vehicles, period, but as far as ads go, this isn’t awful. It’s paying their bills, and we want that to happen. You guys who are railing against the ad as the ‘death rattle of a dying industry’ and as some kind of symbol of wasteful depravity need to chill. This is clearly a tongue in cheek ad targeting those with enough means to own one of these as a weekend getaway toy for use on uncrowded out of town roads – and there are PLENTY of people in that demographic in this city. It’s the ‘Classic Car Club of Manhattan’ membership demographic, A sports car like this is obviously a horribly inefficient way to get around within the city and Jaguar isn’t stupid.

    I don’t see the rich UES guy heading out of town in his F-Type on a Saturday morning the same way I do the crazed car commuter weaving between lanes and nearly running me off the road on my bike during rush hour.

  • Joe R.

    I have pretty much the same thoughts. I hate the ad because it’s an ad, not because it’s sponsored by a car company. I really wish autos would indeed return to what they used to be about 75 to 100 years ago-toys for the rich. The downfall of our cities occurred when large numbers of middle class, or even poor, were able to afford cars. At least the wealthy “car club” members take some pride in their driving skills. And you didn’t see block after block full of ugly parked cars.

  • ohnonononono

    I’d be into that. My rent is too high! Also though, lots of landlords do just that. There’s an apartment building a block away from me on the corner that has ads up on the side and I’m sure the landlord gets revenue from them.

  • JoshNY

    If the entire building was wrapped with an ad and my rent only went down $1, I would think my landlord was getting hosed. If it went down $1,000 I’d be absolutely thrilled.

  • red_greenlight1

    Um… it would be more like a 30% reduction in rent. So yeah I’d be cool with it.


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