NYC subway car turns pink to promote Surface; our eyes bleed

Way back in August, Microsoft started promoting its upcoming Surface tablet with a mysterious street art ad campaign in several cities, starting with New York City. Even though the Surface has been on sale for a couple of months, Microsoft is still trying to come up with some new ways to put the tablet in front of the ordinary consumer.

This month, Microsoft started turning the insides of at least some New York City subway cars pink with lots of Surface signage. Mashable reports that one of the cars was spotted on the shuttle run between NYC's Grand Central Station and 42nd Street.

As you can see, pretty much everything but the floor is covered in pink, in the same shade of one of the Surface's Touch Cover keyboards. There's also a video monitor on top that runs Surface TV ads. The color hurts our eyes by just looking at the picture and we can't imagine how it might look to people who get on this subway car in real life.

This new campaign has apparently been going on for a little while. Twitter user Declan Connolly posted up an image earlier this month showing a much nicer looking blue NYC car that promotes Surface. However, he also mentions that there's a Surface subway car that has an orange color. Yikes!

Source: Mashable | Image via Mashable

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"Our eyes bleed" ... really? It's not even an offensive pink. This is highly effective for me because the second I got on the train, I would wonder why the whole thing is a different color and seek to find out why until I had an answer. The usual ads that I see at the top, I wouldn't spend more than quick glace over before ignoring entirely.

What a coincidence. I've been spending the last week swearing to kill every kitten in the world if I see one more GD T-mobile ad with its stupid chick and its stupid magenta, and here now that same damn color is taking over real life.

Could you spend less time advertising in American and being the surface to other Countries? Please and thankyou!

In NZ the tablet market probably had around 95%+ saturation by iPads, why? No one advertises anything else. The dumb public have no idea that there are quality competing products to this rubbish other than damning press reports and rumours from fans about how "terrible" Samsung is and how "useless" android is. Of course iPads are great but when every news post about tablets is based on iPads and primary schools want iPads you gotta wonder, who is informing these decisions? In most school situations a RT or droid based tablet is probably going to outperform an iPad in it's key goal, education. As well as suitability and functionality in the role.

MS - Don't let the surface become Zune! Bring it to NZ for the same price as the US, $600 NZ not $1000!!! (about $850 USD)

Microsoft can spend that money on permanently improving the car interiors in my city's subway system if they want. It would help out a lot. Pink isn't a good color though.

If Microsoft wanted to sell Windows 8 they should not have angered half of the Windows professional users, half of the users like the Windows 7 colors, styles, Aero and start button and half of them like the new once, if they kept both and made everyone happy it would have been way easier to sell Windows 8

I guess the only thing now left if heavy advertisement, it will work for a bit, and then will fade and it cost much more that the profit it will make.

Yes, half of the "Windows professional users" is a huge part of the marketplace. So, when you anger them, don't expect the Surface to be a big hit.
One can sell "sizzle" only so long. When the "where's the beef?" question is asked, and you don't have a good answer, poof!

To be fair, they're also styled in blue and orange according to the twitter feed. I rather admire the creativity of the marketing on this one, it's certainly not just a plain, dull 2D billboard photo and is sure to get people thinking if not talking about it. It's all about building brand awareness and this makes a pretty bold and long-lasting statement. During rush hour, I'd imagine the impact of the colours are greatly reduced making it much more easy on the eye.

I honestly don't quite understand Microsoft's Marketing Department's mission. They keep focusing their efforts on very narrow targets in NYC that that don't do much to convince the rest of the country that they should check out this Microsoft product. Granted, I don't know anything about marketing.

NPGMBR said,
I honestly don't quite understand Microsoft's Marketing Department's mission. They keep focusing their efforts on very narrow targets in NYC that that don't do much to convince the rest of the country that they should check out this Microsoft product. Granted, I don't know anything about marketing.

It's all about affecting the cities with the highest concentration of population.... Why do you think cell phone companies only deployed LTE in big cities at first? Or Fiber to the home in big cities? Because it affects the most people with the least amount of efforts.

Farchord said,
Why do you think cell phone companies only deployed LTE in big cities at first? Or Fiber to the home in big cities? Because it affects the most people with the least amount of efforts.

Technically, FiOS was deployed to flat lands first in Texas. It is easier to deploy fiber in areas like that. Also, Sprint LTE is still not in NYC.

I don't think the scenario of the Cell providers applies in the same way. Almost all of us need a primary communication device thus the cell companies didn't have the same problem Microsoft faces. It was demand from consumers that encouraged cell providers to build out their networks.

While the decisions made in one part of the country do affect the rest of the country (e.g. legalization of pot and gay marriage) these kinds of changes occur over a decade. Microsoft can't wait a decade to convince consumers to purchase Microsoft products. Maybe you're right but I find it difficult to believe that an area consisting 16m can affect the choices of the remaining 300m in a way that would benefit Microsoft in the near term.

Again, I'm not a marketer and could be completely wrong but appreciate the discussion.

Seriouslly...pink??
When I think of pink, I think of babies girls or Breast Cancer Month.
Even though there are adds that say Surface, I don't think it was a wise color to choose from

freedonX said,
Seriouslly...pink??
When I think of pink, I think of babies girls or Breast Cancer Month.
Even though there are adds that say Surface, I don't think it was a wise color to choose from

this would have better idea if it was for breast cancer!!

Actually, it is a sign of Microsoft's desperation. It "bet the ranch" on Surface being the replacement for full-size notebooks and desktops. It isn't and can never be. Just the physics involved prevent that from happening. So, while the Surface may be attractive to game players and those who want to surf the Internet and do short e-mailing/tweeting; it can never be a serious contender for traditional office settings.

TsarNikky said,
It isn't and can never be. It can never be a serious contender for traditional office settings.

If you say so... I'll be enjoying mine come January and there's nothing you can do about it!