A few weeks ago, I took a picture of this ad I found on the NY Subway and forgot to do anything with it. I apologize,  my mind was elsewhere — probably unpacking the trip’s later encounter with a young man who tried to elicit money from me by “tying my shoe for Jesus” and was then baffled by the way I wear my laces*.

Anyway, thanks to my Twitter friends @Thalesdisciple and @mackenzief, this ad is back on my radar and can finally get the ridicule it deserves.

First, the logo looks like a butthole. I’m sorry to start on such a crass note, but come on, that’s just a horrible choice. With that out of the way, let’s look at the chart.

This chart is designed to suggest that speck cases are for everybody — everybody from bikers to subway riders to both. This is an ad targeted to subway riders and we are on the subway, so we are to respond favorably.

Here’s how the graph breaks down:

  • The very middle makes sense — there are people who bike and ride the subway and take their bikes on the subway.
  • The top intersection makes sense — there are people who bike and ride the subway yet do not take their bikes on the subway.
  • The left intersection makes very little sense — these are people who bike and whose bikes ride the subway but who do not themselves. So I guess other people are taking their bikes on the subway. That seems an odd population.
  • The right intersection makes less sense. These people ride the subway and have bikes that ride the subway but do not bike. So, they just walk bikes around the subway? Are they strictly bike transporters?

Horrible. This is clearly a case of the following logic: charts are cool, we are about “everybody” so let’s put together a marketing campaign around the idea that the middle of a Venn Diagram is “everybody” and make some clever Venn Diagrams; it’s perfect — high concept, witty, colorful, hip with the kids — we are geniuses.


*I suspect my lacing first led him to believe that my shoes were not tied and needed the help of he and his savior.

photo credit: Mary Childs

  • Hugo Kornelis

    You are totally missing the point. The left intersection means your bike just got stolen, which is why it’s on the subway without you. Shortly you move to either top left (bought new bike, no money for subway), top right (on subway, saving for bike), or if you’re unlucky bottom (no money for subway or bike, but your old bike is still there.
    And that right intersection is the thief who is now on the subway with my bike.
    I’m sure this ad is actually sponsored by NYPD.

    • Jason Oberholtzer


  • John

    1. The bottom also makes no sense. It’s people who have bikes but don’t use them, don’t ride the subway, yet their bikes ride the subway. Basically people who bought a bike, never use it, yet it got stolen by someone who rides the subway.

    2. Also, it’s a huge fail from a marketing point of view due to the fact that the product isn’t made for you unless you bike, ride the subway, and take your bike with you. If you don’t do exaclty this, the product is not for you. Our product line is for a very very specific group of people. Certainly not “a case for all”.

  • Todd

    These are the worst! I see this one a lot and it seriously makes me angry.

  • tauceti

    You guys are all missing the point. The people on the left intersection are those who own sentient bikes.

  • Rob

    Not only does it make little sense, but it also looks like it’s saying that the people who do all those things (the ones in the middle) are assholes.

  • knova

    Math majors everywhere thank you. This both inexplicable (not ONE person out of the likely dozens who saw it noticed that it made no damn sense??) and tragic— it’s now riding around on the subway, in front of literally millions of eyeballs. Teachin’ the people. UGH.

    Sidebar: Assuming you’re not naturally pigeon-toed… looks like you’ve got a serious case of doofy-foot. Seems it’s afflicting men now, too. Ugh.

Copyright © 2015 My Damn Channel, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Designed in collaboration with Wondersauce.