Photopost: Stupid Ads in New York

NYPD\'s Recruiting Ad, on the 1 Train
NYPD’s Recruiting Ad, on the 1 train

The above ad reads “MYNYPD is a 75% crime reduction in 15 years. That’s a job resume we can all be proud of.” Saw this on the subway heading out to Brooklyn last night. The NYPD attempt at new media relevance is sort of laughable, as if sticking a “MY-” in front of the name would suddenly convince people that the NYPD isn’t a vast, corrupt bureaucracy that regards its new recruits as something between shit and dirt. The ads plastered an entire side of the train – other images lauded new-recruit pay raises (to ‘still not very good’ pay); the others were un-memorable “build your resume!” type appeals.

The crime reduction figure is misleading, and arrogant. Of course they don’t tell you about the increase in the prison population occurring in the same period, and the assertion that crime reduction resulted from NYPD policy alone seems misleading as well.

In Prospect Park

In Prospect Park

I passed this last night walking near Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and it could be the least appealing ad I’ve ever seen.

First, the image: the girl looks like she’s been force-fed barbecue for days, and is losing her will to live. Looking into her oversized face on the street was somewhere between shocking and terrifying, and does nothing to encourage anyone to consider buying ‘BBQ’ in the ‘Prospect Park you didn’t know.’

Second, the text: “Don’t just make BBQ… Buy BBQ‘ Good thing this ad is here for those hungry Park Slopers looking for their next meaty treat. Now, I thought ads like this were supposed to convince you buying shit was a good idea – this one seems to assume you already want to buy yer BBQ, but just can’t quite figure out how to. “I just love spending money, but if only I knew where to do it…”

I have no idea how anyone could have even thought this was a good idea even conceptually, but somehow it made it onto the streets of Brooklyn as a finished product.

Shoutout to Copyranter for fostering my appreciation for shitty New York advertising.


7 responses to “Photopost: Stupid Ads in New York

  1. David Gallaher

    Hi. Sorry you didn’t care for the ads, but I was the one who wrote them for the Bernard Hodes agency.
    There were the ones chosen by the focus group and the NYPD recruitment division.

    – David Gallaher

  2. David Gallaher

    Urgh… pardon the typos, I was in a rush.

  3. No doubt you had good reasons for putting them up, I just call them like I see em.

    I also think the NYPD has an interest in fostering a particular (misleading?) image of itself. I think there needs to be someone to call them out on the bullshit that image entails – nothing personal, I just don’t trust the cops, in particular what they say about themselves to the public.

  4. David Gallaher

    >> nothing personal, I just don’t trust the cops, in particular what they say about themselves to the public. >>

    No harm done. Just letting you know that the NYPD doesn’t write those ads, I do. So, I’m to blame if you don’t like how they are written or what they say.

  5. Honestly, I don’t really think it has anything to do with you – the NYPD as an institution is attempting to manage its image in a particularly disturbing way. I do ‘like’ the ads, but more for what they say about the police system in New York, which barely holds the faith of its constituents (or many of its officers, as near as I can tell), and regularly operates in an arrogant, violent way.

    The ads, and what you wrote, are symptoms of the problems that plague policing and incarceration in New York. If anything I only ‘blame’ you and the the NYPD for a lack of accountability that requires the police department to fall back on subway ads and recruitment gimmicks rather than real reform to improve its image with the public.

  6. there are two different ads – the ad for the NYPD on the subway and the ad for Prospect Park. Are these comments addressing the NYPD ads? The Prospect Park “buy bbq” ads are not for the NYPD, right?

    Anyway, I thought the Prospect Park ad almost has to be a joke. Why would they be encouraging you to “BUY BBQ?” I don’t get it.

    Thanks –

  7. oh I see. When I read these posts, they appeared to be two separate posts. I didn’t realize they were linked on the page! Now, I understand the response but I do not understand the “buy bbq.” Is CONSUMERISM and PUSHING CONSUMERISM everywhere – even in promoting a public space??


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