Ad posters that line the walls of New York City subway stations have long been a canvas for the some of the city’s most opinionated, clever, masterful, and — probably more often times than not, bored — artists. (If the G train ever arrived on time I wonder how many local news anchors would be smiling back at commuters from their posters without missing teeth or mustaches.)
Now, thanks to the minimalist teaser ad for the upcoming fifth season of Mad Men, which features nothing but the falling silhouette from the show’s opening credits and the long-awaited return date, taggers have been given a nearly blank canvas to work with and are generating some of the most amusing subway art in ages. (Quick aside to New Yorkers: Have you ever actually seen someone tagging an ad? I can’t help but chuckle at our fellow commuters declarations that all the latest movies “suck!!” but I’ve never actually witnessed a culprit in action. Maybe it’s like Charlie Day’s theory about baby pigeons in Going the Distance. They have to be somewhere, we’ve just never seen them. End aside.)
In response to the trend, Gothamist recently posted some of the best tags of the Mad Men ads, including the suited Don Draper-like figure playing on a playground and being squirted out of a whale’s blow hole. (Check out their comments section for some other inspired graffiti, including the Mad man riding on a skate ramp and being rescued by Superman.) While the site informs that a lot of the work by these amateur art directors has been erased by the MTA, they’re still allowing folks to get creative and let out their inner Salvatore or Joey. Posting a copy of the ad, Gothamist tells visitors to “Photoshop to your hearts content. Send your best tweaks in to firstname.lastname@example.org and if they don’t suck we might run a few here.” Go ahead, now try and impress Don.
So how would you tag the Mad Men poster, PopWatchers? New Yorkers, what’s the best one you’ve seen so far? Do you think, as Gothamist suggests, the ad team at AMC made this part of the campaign on purpose? Share in the comments section below.