People are cute sometimes

Finally, a new subway ad campaign worth writing about! 

Seamless' older campaigns (or were they GrubHub's? Uh oh.) were full of sweet-faced characters that looked like they'd been hand-torn from construction paper. It was a nice rest for the eyes during a tedious commute.

The new campaign features quotes from the "special instructions" text box on their ordering page - it's where you can ask for an extra packet of soy sauce, or remind a restaurant that nobody needs eighty napkins to eat one burrito (thirty will do just fine). 

I saw it this morning for the first time on the C train and smiled. It's the kind of ad that always makes me a little jealous and defensively sure I would have had the same idea had I been in that glass-walled ad agency brainstorming meeting. (See also: "Other lives I secretly imagine I'm leading"). It's work that makes me hear a hokey voice in my head going "oooh, somebody's getting a raiiise...."

It shows us our adorable neighbors being their mischievous, clever, possibly inebriated selves. It doesn't elevate Seamless's good qualities, it draws ours out from the dark database / underbelly that normally only Seamless's data team can see. (Now, are these excerpts real? God I hope so. If not, screw this campaign.  )

In that way, it's a bit like the picture an amusement park takes of you during the big drop on a scary ride - you're deep in a private experience, and then there it is, your silly face, caught when you weren't expecting it. 

What it does is position Seamless as a shared experience and a communal bit of comedy we all unwittingly produced together. It's almost like they made the Yearbook of takeout ordering. Look at us — we're so cute sometimes. 

HUGE CAVEAT: Seamless may be destroying the local economy by virtue of being a monopoly that all but forces businesses to join it, pushing already low profit margins down further. Also, this. Ugh. I may use but do not endorse their company. Just the creative execution of this ad campaign.