Customer Dissatisfaction Spurs a Pretty Funny Campaign


MTA PoleEtiquetteThe NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) introduced a new campaign this month on “subway etiquette.” Uh huh. Subway Etiquette. The fact that they had to spend money to educate millions of subway riders on common courtesy makes me SMH… but after months of complaints received via social media, the MTA decided to spend those taxpayers’ dollars on a campaign to address the following issues (and more):

  • Nail Clipping and Primping
  • Pole Dancing (yep)
  • Manspreading (yes, you read that right — “Manspreading”: the act of sitting with one’s legs open to alleviate pain caused by sitting with legs closed due to one’s biological makeup)

MTA Etiquette AdsThe campaign uses a fabulous mix of retro-style human silhouettes along with cheeky, contemporary copy to illustrate the “dos” and “don’ts” of subway riding . And surprisingly, it actually works. I mean, how else do you address the key insights of nail clipping, pole dancing or manspreading without a little cheeky humor?

A lot of buzz has emerged around the campaign on the mainstream news and continues to build on social media, with many riders in support —@matt_townsend tweeted: “Gotta say, I just saw someone clipping their nails on the subway. I’m all for this.” And other riders are tweeting pictures/videos reinforcing the need for the campaign. (A crowded, unhappy subway does make for some interesting tweets!)

With subway riding at an all-time high, got to give the MTA credit for addressing its consumers’ dissatisfaction so directly. They listened to what their customers had to say and responded in a big way. Pretty smart.



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