Every day the capital's subway fills with new commercial. Station walls, train cars, light boxes along the escalators are covered with various commercials offering goods or services. Unfortunately, nice and interesting commercial is very rare. And if we compare the esthetics of our subway with the European one, it feels sad.

According to the official data, granting the right to advertising "Kyiv metropolitan" communal enterprise earns 800-900 thousand hryvnias monthly, clients get their buyers and passengers get daily stress. And if job offers with 10 thousand salary prompt a skeptical smile, the flying balloons with mutilated human limbs can provoke serious psychological breakdown.

According to the social psychologist Oleg Pokalchuk, the subway itself is a stressor due to the crowd and potential risks, while poor advertising only adds to the stress.

In his opinion, Kyiv subway is overloaded with poor-quality commercial. "Advertising companies now tend to reduce the quality of commercial, appealing to the layers of population lacking high education or artistic taste. The same concerns the TV and press. Instead of educating people through advertising, ads level down the potential buyers," Pokalchuk believes.

(job offers)

So what? Depressively grey, but clean cars are better?

"We all are too much used to see something hanging around us. In soviet times, the walls of subway cars were empty and it did not disturb anybody. But now we have a psychological dependence, and if all commercials suddenly disappear, people will feel uncomfortable. And if there is a new car without any advisement hanging on the walls, people will notice it immediately," Pokalchuk answers.

The same question ForUm asked the media-director of Chervona Kalyna agency Yuri Paliychuk.

"It is impossible to ban advertising in our country. People are used to stick ads on every available pillar, including subway. It is way easier to legalize and somehow refine the advertising, as bans will not work anyway," Paliychuk believes.

(medicine against belly-worms)

According to him, there is no way to get rid of commercial. Though the high-quality advertising is very rare, especially in subway, this way of product promotion is beneficial for both advertisers and Kyiv metropolitan, as it covers huge audience and brings money in the budget.

In Paliychuk's opinion, the overkill with advertisement in subway is caused by mere greed. "Total permissiveness rules in subway. Everybody does as he sees fit. At least now they have start punishing for unauthorized advertising," he says.

ForUm also asked the expert whether the very advertisers care about the quality of their commercials.

"As the founding father of advertising David Ogilvy said, a good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself. If consumers discuss the commercial, but not the product itself, it means that the commercial is bad. When I use subway, I always pay attention to the advertisements. It's my job, you know. And I've seen two or three nice advertisements so far. Mostly, all subway commercials are aimed at people with low income."

In Paliychuk's opinion, there is a specific audience in subway: village girls who failed to enter an institute will pay attention to the job offer in a dance-show; guests of the capital will pay attention to the mini-hotels; teenagers will pay attention to concerts. The subway advertising mostly promotes everyday use products, like washing powder, coffee, etc. I will never find a commercial of watch or "Bentley" in subway. The only expensive product being advertised is apartments in newly build blocks.

Any commercial is pragmatic, and it will be more effective if based on positive emotions. If the sale rate does not grow after a month of advertisement, it means the commercial was not a success and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, the latest and newest inventions of advertisers mostly cause negative emotions among the consumers. The sad thing is that these advertisements cover all available space, including windows, stairs and even names of the subway stations. Recently, some bright minds decided to put commercial near the warning sign "Attention. The train is coming".

Indeed, there is no way to get rid of commercial in subway. However, is it too much to ask to preserve some common sense and not to exaggerate with creativity?

Anastasia Pika, photos by the author


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