Rethinking Traditional Media: Inspiration at Port Authority


Vice President, Strategic Sales Development , Business Development

In a recent meeting, the AG Team discussed one of our favorite topics: rethinking traditional media and how we use it to make in impact with our audience and truly drive a message home. From new, disruptive takes on talent endorsements, to long-form branded content integrations, to eschewing media all together to connect with an exclusive audience, we push ourselves to imagine marketing beyond what been done before.

Just this week, I found inspiration in the most unlikely of places — The Port Authority Bus Terminal here in New York City. Something that most New Yorkers are familiar with is the MTA’s famous  “If you see something, say something” public safety awareness campaign. It has been running for over 14 years, and has been so pervasive and effective, the MTA licensed the slogan to the Department of  Homeland Security for national use. This year’s campaign was relaunched to feature real New Yorkers sharing their own stories of a time that they saw something and decided to say something.

But how do you make commuters think differently about a slogan they’ve been hearing for 14 years when you don’t have 30 seconds to tell a story? How do you re-capture attention as busy New Yorkers bustle towards their bus or train.  This week at Port Authority, the familiar ‘see something – say something’ ads appeared— but with a twist. Out of home posters and signage were displayed anywhere, everywhere, and everyway to quickly reinforce the notion that  if something looks out of place- report it!  


PABlog  PABlog4

Signs were seen posted upside down, slapped in a corner,  and wrapped around poles in order to draw double takes from those on the go, and remind them that if we witness something that is not quite right, pay attention to it and alert the authorities. The very same signs in a traditional out of home display would likely not make the same impact, or drive the point home as quickly.


For me, this provides inspiration as we continue to evolve and rethink radio, digital & social engagement.  The simplest change in delivery commands attention.