Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bus TV

I didn't see it until I was onboard. An intermittent flicker, flashing against the windows of every shop, every bank, and restaurant we went by.

Now they're putting digital advertising on the sides of city buses.




A moving Times Square, the bus with its big TV shouts:
Heineken!
Denzel Washington!
John Travolta!
Snickers!



The frantic, twittering panel splashes a blue streak against everything it passes. Makes the stainless-steel backs of coffee carts and fruit peddler carts turn televisual. Blasts Cemusa's glass shelters and newsstands.

The city of reflective surfaces was built for this. Ads screaming back at themselves, multiplying.



Repeating and repeating:
Heineken!
Denzel Washington!
John Travolta!
Snickers!

On donut shops, bodegas, and empty storefronts still for rent.



Heineken!
Heineken!
Heineken!



The rushing, hustling television turns eyeglass lenses blue, too, blanking out the faces.

And the faces turn. All the eyes turn to look.

They can't help but to stare at the bus going by. They were lost in thought--good thought, troubling thought, thought that puzzles out a problem, writes a novel, crafts an apology or confrontation--it doesn't matter.

Thought is not welcome here.
Don't even try.

14 comments:

Melanie said...

I just saw this the other day.

Anonymous said...

one more step toward the "bladerunnering" of NYC.

Just now give me Pris and I'll be very happy.

EV Grieve said...

Um, Snickers? Mind your Snacklish, sir. Do you need help with your Snackabulary? Did you get a degree in Snackanomics?

Anyway, were you going to the Peanutarium in the bus?

And, yes — I feel as if I'm going to have a seizure looking at these digital bus ads.

Someone Said said...

Ads on the insides of our eyelids soon enough.

Good poem in your commentary!

Mad Texter said...

Flashing TV screens on buses? Big Brother's mind control has finally taken over.

Must put on thought control blocking sunglasses.

Must put on thought control blocking sunglasses.

Must put on thoug.......

(Eyes now glazed over) Wow, it's so pretty....

Bowery Boogie said...

will all buses be retro-fitted with this junk?

definitely seizure inducing..

Anonymous said...

Noooooooo! BN

Goggla said...

Max Headroom, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Wow-totally cool

Ajlouny said...

Just one more thing that makes NY unique...i think it's pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

Just one more thing that makes NY unique...i think it's pretty cool.

June 11, 2009 10:14 PM

Uh, the point is that it "does not" make NYC unique to look like Hong Kong, where I'm sure this idea was created and is in use today.

Anonymous said...

We have some in Chicago too: http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/sep/23/local/chi-cta-bus-digital-23-sep23

I agree that it is neither cool nor unique. And I also agree that it is seizure-inducing.

- Former New Yorker

Anonymous said...

Heineken? Travolta? All I can see is "CONFORM", "CONSUME", "OBEY" and "NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT"

;)

Cable Company said...

I think this kind of thing is going to become a lot more prominent since it's now cheaper to advertise digitally than traditionally. Advertisers are pretty much waiting for companies (public transportation, in this case) to upgrade to this type of thing.