Introduction

From informative advertisements to poetry to art, The Metropolitan Transit Authority’s sponsored posters carry a message – they plainly express the MTA’s desire for passengers to be happy with their choice in transportation, as well ensure that the passengers are acting properly while in the subway. This is established from direct messaging in their ad campaigns, as well as through subtleties in the posters that subconsciously influence riders.

The posters that I chose (and many others alike) work by different means to build subway riders’ trust in and loyalty to the MTA, build a sense of community between the two parties, and show the MTA’s efforts to reduce their carbon footprint to promote riders to do the same. This is beneficial to both the MTA and its riders, prompting continued use of the subway system and promoting communal maintenance of the subways.

We can already see what is a useful form of passive communication between a large company and its customers; however, when we rephrase the list of effects we can quickly see what could easily be a malicious form of advertising: build people’s trust in a company, connect the people to the company, and impose the company’s ideas upon the people.

There is a difference between the profit driven ad-campaigns of most corporations and the MTA’s positive interaction with its customers, and through the analysis of several posters it will become clear how the MTA successfully does so. The MTA’s posters highlight how different forms of advertisements can impact people’s perception of corporations and ecology without being too brash, and through analyzing these posters’ impacts we can find an ideal form of corporate advertising that should be emulated by others. Other mediums that could potentially apply the MTA’s model of advertising are also considered and discussed in the conclusion.

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