Advertising Saturation, Tunnel at State/Jackson

Yesterday, while walking between the Red and Blue Line tunnel at Jackson, I noticed that, once again, all the ads in the tunnel were advertising the same product.

This experience though, wasn’t nearly as unsettling as last time. For one, all the posters are slightly different, featuring different faces. And I’m actually liking the tone of the campaign, both the posters and the logo.

Still though, walking through the tunnel felt like running a mental gauntlet. I felt bombarded from all sides, and found myself actively resisting looking too much at any of the posters.

From an aesthetic standpoint, each poster I actually liked. I was trying to break down the campaign strategy behind each – people focused, the blue serving as a nice backdrop for the iconic red that’s in the text (and also on the device).

But ultimately, I just felt saturated by the whole thing.

Here’s a shot looking back onto the tunnel I had just walked through. On arriving by the Red Line entrance, I noticed all the pillars were plastered, along with two or three huge ads on the floor of the station.

The CTA needs to generate revenue. I get that. And I ultimately know that they need to do whatever they need to do, to keep the lights on and the trains running.

But having to walk through a half block worth of ads (in some cases literally) made me feel like my morning commute took a little more work than normal. I felt cheap, Chicago, and a little dirty – almost as though I had some kind of price tag on the back of my head.

New Tropicana Packaging, Malcolm Gladwell and Sensation Transference
Repeating Ads Within the Tunnel at State/Jackson
Weird Chicago CTA Tunnel Advertising Continues

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. it was probably easier for me to take this particular branding spate because i 1) already own a flip; 2) already love my flip; 3) think the flip is one of the most important things to happen in technology in the past decade.that said, flip never had to advertise before this. they sold millions of camcorders with zero ad budget. it’s very interesting to see this happen now that they’ve been purchased by cisco – and are (rightfully) afraid that the ipod nano and cell phone cameras can now record video.

    nickd Reply

  2. WOW I’m glad you posted this because yesterday I traveled on the Blue line for once and noticed this madness wishing I had a camera. Nice!

    TJ Mapes Reply

  3. Every time I came up from the train and went through the turnstiles, I thought I ought to be mooing. Meaning, the size of the city and the way it shuffles its people around made me feel like one of a herd of cattle. The ads just make that clear in yet another way.

    juliet Reply

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