July 27, 2017

Postmates’ provocative new subway ads are a desperate plea for attention

Postmates logo
Image Courtesy of Postmates

A woman’s tongue curls around dark, slimy strands dangling in front of her face. Two fingers thrust a piece of salmon between half-open lips. The caption, in curly white writing, reads “Love At First Bite.”

The ads are for Postmates, a San Francisco-based food delivery startup. They recently appeared in New York’s subway system and are, if nothing else, provocative. Here are just a few of the comments they provoked among my coworkers, many of whom commuted this morning on a subway car or via a station with the ads: “Ugh these are gross”

“They’re like women’s mouths sexually eating noodles”

“I thought she was being attacked by a squid”

“Is that rotten blood dripping from the salmon”

“The egg salad/avocado looks like vomit” And via Twitter : “Postmates is a delivery service. Looks like torture.” Why is there ketchup on her tooth? (Quartz/Thu-Huong Ha) Buying ad space on the subway system is trendy among startups these days, particularly those that deliver meals and groceries. There are ads for HelloFresh, a subscription meal service, and PeaPod, a grocery delivery company. Seamless, the online food-ordering platform owned by Grubhub, has blanketed subway cards with snarky appeals to New Yorkers. “We deliver […]

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