No NYC Subway Ad roundup would be complete without mention of the seemingly bizarre launch strategy of peer-to-peer payment service, Venmo, via their “ambassador”(?) named Lucas. The campaign was so ubiquitous in some stations that many members of the NYC media landscape took note and elevated Lucas, and by proxy, Venmo to meme-worthy status. In fact, maybe you’d like to make your own Lucas meme right here.
What’s the Deal?
When the first series of ads went up, they did not take a subtle approach. In fact, entire stations were plastered with this image of a twenty-something Asian man’s face, each with a caption starting with the phrase, “Lucas…. (does something)”—Lucas takes the stairs, Lucas buys a round, Lucas has dreams. No mention of the thing that was being advertised, in this case, Venmo, was made. It was a strange couple of weeks that left people scratching their heads, and, you know, defacing these oblique ads. The public reception was mixed at best.
The key to the two-pronged series of brand launch ads came a few weeks later when a slew of new spots with the same creative style were released that said, “Lucas uses Venmo.” Now the public had something to go on. We were curious, we typed “venmo” into our google searches and learned that these ads were promoting something that was actually pretty interesting! Oh, and as it turns out, Lucas was/is(?) an engineer for the company. Lucas, he’s just like us. He uses this app called VENMO.
The rest is history. Venmo has transitioned to traditional ads that speak to the benefits of the service, but in hindsight, the Lucas ads were pretty cool and got a lot of people talking.
P.S. The public may never forgive that mustache.
Lucas Rides the Subway
And so should you! Return to NYCSubwayAds.com for more achievements in OOH ads like Lucas. Return to NYCSubwayAds.com