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 How Brands are Saving Commuters Time on the Subway

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While riding the subway, consumers can shop any modern convenience like subscription underwear, personalized vitamins and customizable food plans.

white girl rose billboard for millennial marketing

​​​Posted: June 22nd 2018 By: Alex Martell, Marketing Manager

As Seen in Media Village

Who has time to shop anymore? Nevermind taking the time to research our options. Time has become the ultimate luxury item for New Yorkers. In fact, New Yorkers consistently make the top five list of hardest working cities, year in and year out. Our work week is extending and our weekends are shrinking. Each day we spend 10-plus hours at the office; then there's a rise of the supercommuter, with some of us spending two hours commuting in.


This leaves us with very little time to take care of ourselves, our homes and our families, so brands are stepping up to the plate to tackle this problem. Innovative and resourceful companies are finding ways to reach these hurried New Yorkers in the place you'd least expect it: the NYC subway and bus system. These brands are providing goods and services that complement our lifestyle and products or services that we all need, but don't have the time to look up for ourselves.


Think about it: Who wants to go home and research who is going to help them build a shelf? Startups, tech companies and service-minded businesses are advertising on subways and appealing to their exact demographic. In a way, the NYC transit system has become a temporary storefront -- a popup -- for hundreds of different brands each month. These companies are helping New Yorkers, who are low on time, remember their to-do list. Get a new toothbrush from Quip. Check. Don't forget to pick-up fresh linens from Brooklinen for your mother-in-law's weekend stay. Check. Oh, and dreading all the housework waiting for you at home? Here's your friendly reminder that help is available at the push of a button with TaskRabbit. Check.


Brands are seeing huge success selling everyday goods and services that the traditional New Yorker can't get to in a normal week. In fact, companies like Target, Peapod and Seamless have found subway, bus and rail OOH to be a game changer for them. Target has recently run campaigns in the NYC subway that say "You take the train, we'll take the bags" as the tagline to free delivery services.


The over seven million average daily riders are a receptive audience entering virtual storefronts each time they swipe into the MTA. (Plus, it's a great distraction from the crammed trains and questionable smells.) This is a huge opportunity for consumers and marketers alike. While riding the subway, consumers can shop any modern convenience like subscription underwear, personalized vitamins and customizable food plans. With 70% of your day spent outside of the home it's no wonder that you're multitasking even while in transit. But OOH advertisements on the subway and bus systems are doing the impossible -- they're turning back the clock and giving New Yorkers what they value the most. Time.

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