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Photo of the day: Nine wrong ways to swipe

I don’t drink whiskey, but this ad almost made me want to. Jameson ran an ad campaign last year exclusively for NYC subways. This hyper-localized approach isn’t very common for a national (hell, international) brand, and it really impressed me. Why? Because they demonstrated “insider knowledge.”

MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE THERE ARE
NINE WRONG WAYS TO SWIPE YOUR CARD,

BUT NO WRONG WAY TO
ENJOY A JAMESON

If you don’t live in NYC or haven’t spent considerable time on our subways, you’re probably totally confused. And that’s the point. Anyone who rides the subway regularly has experienced the pain and humiliation of repeatedly swiping their MetroCard at the turnstile while it isn’t being read properly. Firstly, there’s a magnetic strip so the card has to be facing the right direction. Then there’s a matter of which direction you swipe and at what speed. Failing to swipe your card correctly is so common an occurrence that the MTA actually lists the various error messages on their website! (some but not all)

“Please swipe again”
“Swipe card again at this turnstile”
“See Agent”

I have also seen too fast and too slow.

I don’t know if there are actually nine wrong ways to swipe, but it really doesn’t matter (according to Gothamist, there are more). Jameson showed that they understand the plight of the New Yorker, and managed to find a way for their product to be the solution. Despite not being much of a hard liquor drinker, never again will I unsuccessfully swipe my MetroCard without thinking of them.

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  • http://theredheadsaid.com Charlene Jaszewski

    and sometimes it's not even your fault! I've had to have an MTA person come over with a “wiper” cloth to make the card reader sensitive again.

  • http://marksandpixels.com AJ Kandy

    That's why Montreal just switched over to touchless smart cards :)

  • http://www.perfecttuna.com Samantha LeVan

    I wonder if they're targeting several major cities with card readers on subways and bus stations. Perhaps NYC, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago… it is unusual to do an expensive targeted campaign but maybe they also have “no subway” one:

    MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE THERE ARE
    NINE ROADS MEETING AT AN INTERSECTION WITH NO STOP SIGN,

    BUT NO WRONG WAY TO
    ENJOY A JAMESON

    But that would probably be a bad idea.

  • http://relationship-digest.com/ bobby

    They have been doing quite a good ad campaign on the subways for a while now. If I ever think to drink whiskey, it'll be Jameson.

    As for the swipe cards, I predicted that they would be a nightmare for some riders. Seems to have come true through the years.

  • DesignCaffeine

    Ingenious! This reminds me of the “there is no wrong way to eat a Reeses” campaign. BTW, BART in SF now has Smart Cards. We've done something right for a change… except these cards do not work on any other transit system in the city. WHY?