Buitoni Turns 14th Street Subway Stop into Pasta Art Exhibition

Above: From a distance the Buitoni ads appear to be framed works of art with labels denoting the “artist”, “title” and description.

Buitoni, the pasta brand owned by NestlΓ© that claims to be “The Italian Art of Food”, has recently turned the 14th Street Union Square subway start into a pasta art exhibition.

This is definitely one of the most creative subway ad campaigns I’ve seen in a while. The creatives behind this one deserve a big pat on the back for thinking of such an interesting idea. Besides adding a little class to the Union Square subway stop, they also had multiple people stopping by the title cards, reading for more information. And, although I didn’t get a picture, Buitoni also had turnstyle advertising at this station.


Turnstyle Advertising

Above: A turnstyle at the 14th Street – Union Square subway stop that advertises

On March 30th, the NYC Health Department began a new campaign for targeting parents who smoke. The official press release points out the danger of smoking as it relates specifically to NYC parents:

About 400,000 New York City adults who smoke live with a child. Sadly, smoking takes the lives of 8,000 adults each year in the city, many of whom leave children behind. New Yorkers are urged to quit smoking and to call 311 if they need help.

The campaign launch a television commercial that “features a young boy in a train station who has lost his mother. He is terrified and begins to cry. This painful moment shows the viewer how vulnerable a child is when a parent risks their life by continuing to smoke – and how scary the death of a parent would be.” The commercial is a licensed version of one created months ago in Australia for quit.org.au:

You can see the entire campaign on nyc.gov/health.

As a part of the larger campaign, they feature turnstyle advertising, as shown above, in NYC subway stations. The ads are definitely eye-catching, as I’ve never seen this type of promotion. Furthermore, they feature a prominent comment: “Quit smoking today.”

This is definitely a good cause. We’ll have to wait to see if other advertisers start using this same medium in the future!

MTA Hikes Fares and Cuts Services

Above: An ad placed in the subway by KeepNewYorkMoving.org

As an NYC commuter, I’m definitely sad/angered to hear the recent news that the MTA is raising the transit prices yet again. Effective May 31, 2009, a train ride will raise from $2 to $2.50 and the monthly Metrocard price will travel from $81 to to $103. Yikes!

As a monthly Metrocard buyer, I was shocked to hear such a drastic price change. Last year, the price rose from $76 to $81 and that sent shocks through the City. This change is even bigger, and I feel a lack of empowerment creeping among commuters. During the last price increase, there were rallies and protests. But this time, the atmosphere seems to be one of helplessness.

Even worse, MTA plans to cut services, including 35 bus lines and two subway lines, the W and Z. This will result in 1,100 employee layoffs, 2% of their workforce.

If you’re upset about the new MTA hikes, visit KeepNewYorkMoving.org to send a letter to Governor Paterson and state legislative leaders.

For more information, check out the NYTimes Cityroom blog post entitled M.T.A. Increases Fares and Cuts Services and the video below.