Sunday, May 18, 2008

NYC as a Stand-In for DC (or, Is AT&T Even TRYING Anymore?)

There's a full-page ad AT&T Wireless ad in Sunday's Washington Post (page A7) -- the tag line says "D.C., we've got you covered. We've added 112 new cell cites in the D.C./Baltimore metro area over the past two years and it shows."

So AT&T, what you're saying is that you had two years to think about this ad, and yet you couldn't come up with a better photo for the DC market than a clearly-identifiable midtown-Manhattan street scene?


How do we know it's NYC and not DC? After a careful, pixel-by-pixel forensic image analysis:

1. You can see a 7th Avenue street sign in the background.

2. There's a great big fucking iconic New York City yellow cab in the midground, complete with rooftop advertising hump and the meter rate on the door panel.

Okay, fine, DC has some yellow taxis. And maybe that's just a cab company logo, not a rate panel. But here's the clincher...

3. DC does not have NYC-style streetside newsstands.


Now, I don't care about the whole "pandering to the D.C. inferiority complex"-thing -- I live in the Virginia suburbs, what do I know? But New York images are so pervasive (thanks to the efforts of New Yorkers trying to convince the world that it revolves around NYC), trying to pass them off as generic cityscapes is just stupid. Not to mention lazy.

Now, who can tell us the cross-street in the photo?


Daniel Poehlman said...

Ummm... Maybe it was "New York Day" in DC?

Did you ever think of that?

You didn't, did you?


Anonymous said...

how funny, because i was thinking the exact same things when i saw this ad in sunday's paper... i was like "does at&t think we're idiots and that every city looks the same? that's SO obviously NY"

prettyparker said...

on one hand, it's a little annoying that my cell phone company thinks so little of my intelligence with this ad. on the other hand, if they've added 112 sites to the dc/baltimore area in the last 2 years, maybe those of us in northern va will get a few more added in the next 2 years! yeah!

Matt said...

No cell soup^H^H^H^H cell towers for you. HOA committee does not like how they look. They've also been meaning to talk to you about the hedge in your back yard. Oh yeah, they scale the fences to check.

Joelogon said...

Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. And indeed.

Anonymous said...

Sincere apologies -- I (obviously) hadn't seen this before posting at City Desk. Too bad I was cracking on somebody else for ignoring details...

Joelogon said...

Max -- nothing to apologize for; there's nothing wrong with noticing something independently.