TARGETED LINES

Not too long ago, subway trains were bestrewn with graffiti: a colorful if incongruous blend of art and vandalism. Nowadays, the city’s underground/overground steel caravans may be taking on a new form of colorful incongruity: that of commercialism.

The IRT 6 train has gained the distinction of becoming the first ever full length train totally and blatantly wrapped in advertising. Emphasizing the cartoonish over the garish, the train is certainly attracting subway riders’ attention with its exhibitive suddenness in support of a new Target opening in East Harlem. The ad campaign will run for six weeks and will generate $250,000 in revenue for the MTA.

You may have seen subway cars wrapped in ads before—the three car Times Square shuttle, for instance.  The History Channel and Google both wrapped the Times Square shuttle in 2008 when the MTA began to allow a full wrap of trains. More recently, the Netherlands Board of Tourism wrapped the shuttle in what might be the most elaborate and complicated wrap yet, due to its extensive detailing (photo album here). But never before has a full length train been wrapped.

Could this be the start of something new based on something old? Not quite art. Not quite graffiti. Rather, the twilight zone between both distinct and arguable extremes…instantly conventional because profitable.

See the photo gallery here and video here.

NYCtheBlog

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