NYC Transit Coating Cars in More Ads, "Dominating" Stations Too

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The 6 train covered in Swatch advertising in service. (Photo: Alex Goldmark)

(Alex Goldmark, Transportation Nation) MTA - New York City Transit is stepping up efforts to sell advertising in the subway, and on subway cars themselves. For just the second time ever, a full-length ten-car subway train is completely covered in advertising. Another train is integrating video ads, something that has been used just once before. In addition, this week is a high point for "station dominations," where one advertiser fills all the ad space in a single subway station, according to MTA spokesman, Aaron Donovan. The holiday season is always the absolute high point for most ad activity.

The three-car long Shuttle train from Times Square to Grand Central Station has been regularly coated in exterior ads, but not always both trains at once.  Right now, the two Shuttle trains are "fully wrapped," one for TNT "Falling Skies" and the other for Brazilian Tourism, a campaign that includes video. The only campaign to include video before was for MLB playoffs last year, also on the Shuttle.

"That’s a total of 16 cars that are fully wrapped. That’s at least equal to, if not more than, the most we’ve ever had," Donovan told Transportation Nation. Pic below, as well as a list of dominated stations.

Interior with Swatch advertising "domination." (Photo: MTA)

Ten of those cars are the 6 train, pictured above, that is now a rolling ad for Swatch watches. Riders have a 1-in-40 chance of catching that train during rush hour. The MTA declined to say how much they are charging Swatch for the privilege.

This is all part of the authority's push to bring in more money from advertising after two flat years of sales. The MTA earned $109 million during the recession years of 2009 and 2010, down from a high of $118 million in 2008. But the MTA is projecting a comeback in 2011 with sales of $120 million.

Dominated Stations:
42 St -Bryant Park – Mohegan Sun
Times Square-42 St – TNT “Falling Skies”
42 St-Grand Central – Absolut Vodka
Broadway-Lafayette St – Swarovski Crystals
Columbus Circle – Mohegan Sun
Union Square – Lion King
Wall Street – 1 Medical
Atlantic Av – VH1 “The Single Ladies”

The MTA is also exploring 3D images, in-tunnel advertising, and, exterior ads for commuter trains as well.

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