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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ad Agency Deathwatch: NYC Taxi TV

Today's Spam Spotting revealed this bit of obnoxious commercial grafiti: NYC Taxi TV. Our cabbie informs that these monitors are forcibly inserted into driver's cabs and the noise is rather annoying and distracting. As he points out: "how would u like someone to come to your office or place of work and blast some ads to your clients all day?" Good point Mr. Cabbie. I don't think I'd enjoy that much at all.

NYC's taxi drivers have no control as Taxi TVs activate full blast upon starting the fare meter. He says that most drivers, incl himself, plead riders to just shut the TVs off (top right corner button) and enjoy some quiet respite, to talk to co-riders, cellulate, or just vegetate.

So, the takeway is that this medium is prob not being watched at all (though I am sure a "view" is still tabulated and billed upon every meter activation nonetheless). Sucker clients. Sucker agencies. Note too, cabbies are not cut into the revenue pie for this brave new advertising medium (and they pay for their cabs remember) guess what? They have few qualms advising customers to just shut the box off.


Dan said...

You should do a little more research into the Taxi TV systems before writing them off as merely spam for consumers. The video and subsequent advertising are the mechanism to pay for the technology upgrades that will allow all NYC taxi cabs to accept credit cards which will actually be a huge service improvement to consumers. This is part of a TLC mandate that all taxis accept credit cards by the end of January 2008. See link below for more info.

Medallion Taxicab Technology Enhancements

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

Interesting...but I don't buy that this assualt on my senses aligns with the mission to "provide better service to passengers". While I don't have an answer at the moment...I can say that if most customers like myself (and cabbies) are shutting off the monitors...then it is simply a waste of resources. Noone is watching them. So to improve service (credit card technology) we will accost customers with a non-service. Not sure I got all the answers, but not convinced this answers much at all. Either way, you're rite, I didn't research it...BUT I DID LISTEN TO THE GUY WHO IS ANNOYED BY IT ALL DAY. AND HE IS TELLING HIS CUSTOMERS TO TURN IT OFF. And I didn't resist the suggestion. That is user research if anybody from the city of NY is interested in furthering.

Anonymous said...

aki systems you have no idea what you are talking about. there is an off button on each vendors system and most cab riders are not turning them off is what I am hearing from teh cab drivers adn I have been in all 4 vendors cabs to see each system. The NBC system is one of the worst of the 4 but the WABC system is by far the best...They have WABC for news, ESPN for sports Zagat for NIghlife and Restaurant info. Why not utilize these systems for information. Is riding an cab that is stuck in horrific traffic such a pleasurable experience that you would not want to be distracted by some good info? THey all have off buttons and volume controls too so the passenger is in control. Face it...NY'ers like to consume media and these things are providing that...albeit some better than others.

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

Well "anonymous"...your assertion that passengers are, indeed, using, daresay enjoying the "service" is interesting. I am simply recounting an experience. And my experience with your ATTACK TV was annoying. And my experience with the cabbie is that he finds it annooying and recommends it turn off. I imagine if I were in his shoes I, too, would find the loud gameshow host VO and canned music that attacked me when I got in the cab to be supremely annoying at my place of work, too. Probably both our "surveys" are dubious. Seems like you may have some relationship with this service which demands that you go out of your way to justify this "service".

And, "anonomous", your point about there being an off button was my point. People will LIKELY turn your damn "service" off. It is annoyingly intrusive, loud and brash. The back of a NYC cab is, essentially, a HOSTAGE SITUATION. Which is why your "service" is likely choosing to place itself there.

So let's consider the "service" aspects here. Ok, I may view some ESPN and News. Agreed, could be useful to some people who choose that.

But, why must your "service" attack its prospects? Just be available and ready when I choose to opt in, as you suggest, when I am stuck in traffic with nothing better to do and seek "service" like yours. Good services don't attack customers loudly and brashly at 'hello'. Good services politely wait to be engaged on the user's terms. Like a concierge at a hotel, for instance. Classy hotel service awaits your query, helps you in the door with your bags. Crappy hotel service accosts you with unwanted and out-of-context pitches before you even get in the door. The age of "service" attacks is over. People don't want that kind of "service". So choose to serve differently. Serve better. Servely politely. Service quietly. Be seen, not heard could be a good motto for good service.

Or do it your way, blast your shiesty jingle and gameshow host voiceover about a cell phone deal at full blast as the door opens and likely get turned off. But that result serves noone anygood - neither the consumer nor the advertiser.

And, supposing you can, indeed, trump up 5 people in NYC who are so appreciative of your "service" of being blasted at with corny jingles and cell phone offers, my point is still OFFER PEOPLE OPT-INS FOR HOW THEY MAY CHOOSE TO ENGAGE WITH YOU.

Anonymous said...

Well we know the reason for this particular system being in place is not to provide enhanced services like credit cards- its funny just to read the little sign stating the credit card is broken and hold that comment in mind at the same time.

Could this be a useful medium? Probably but it would mean there is a free service being offered (besides an off button) that brings value to the ride. Its not about that though- its about bilking the consumer for even more money and demographics of the ride and ads responded to so more appropriate ads can be displayed for each area being visted. Before you know it each time you need to go past 103rd street you're watching ads for GOYA condiments and Afro-Sheen which is what happens when you use web services like Google's Ad-Sense now. Based on the destination you get specific content raising chances of a sale and bringing some fringe benefits to the already expensive Taxi ride-
MTA does it too with bus stop ads and now LCDs flashing commercials. Yet the fare of a ride in NYC is still increasing.

Show us some useful information on these screens or get them out of the vehicle and of bus stop hovels. Taxi's should leverage the GPS systems and show live traffic conditions and weather information - perhaps ZAGAT was a decent idea for those looking for a place to eat or maybe a show.

For Buses how about installing GPS that shows the location of the next ride? Envision that now when the buses are running behind you currently need to either wait wit no way to know whether to hail a cab (and be accosted by ads) or continue to stand still- eventually something will show up to collect your fare.

With a display at the stop and GPS on the bus you can see the traffic conditions, temp, and the location of the bus down the road. These are added services that bring about positive change to these modes of transport - unfortunately companies will likely not outright invest in those systems without the ability to make a few extra bucks so be prepared to watch those temp reports being sponsored by GOYA and Afro-Sheen (with coconut scent).

Anonymous said...

There is an off button on the screens, if you don't like them don;t watch them. Saying you don't like them is basically saying you don't like consuming content from top branded content providers (ESPN, ACCU Weather, Reuters, Zagat, WABC) which is totally ironic because you are in teh media business. get a clue

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taxi cab in durban said...

With a show at the quit and GPS on the bus you can see the visitors circumstances, temperature, and the place of the bus in the future.