Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Manhattan Mini Storage Ads Reviewed

If you've had the privilege of taking the subway in New York city over the past 8 or 9 years then you're probably familiar with a particular storage company even though you've never stored a damn thing in one of their units. Manhattan Mini Storage has cornered the market on sometimes funny, often political, always everywhere subway ads. Even if you don't know exactly what they're selling, those familiar ads have burrowed their way into your subconscious. The BIG BLOCK LETTERS and an abstract picture of something related to whatever the theme of the ad is, and that now familiar logo alongside the 29$, free move. What truly sets MMS apart from other local ads on the trains and through out the city is the willingness to push their political agenda whenever they can. I'm pretty liberal (I guess) and I find most of these kind of annoying. While most companies try to stay as bipartisan as possible in order to not alienate any potential customers, MMS knows they can get away with it in liberal Manhattan, while at the same time portraying a hip, edgy quality. Let's take a look at a handful of the more memorable ads to grace the N train and piss off your conservative friends and family.

Probably the most striking of the MMS ads, this particular one wasn't confined to the iron horse, but was actually a giant billboard overlooking the West Side of Manhattan. Again, these guys really don't give a fuck about normal marketing strategies. Advertising 101 would tell you: "Illegal abortion involving coat hangers is not an image that will help sell your product" (unless you were selling illegal abortions I guess). It is a clever visual joke (the coat hanger works doubly for the closet space reference and the abortion thing) but on the annoyingly liberal meter this one still scores extremely high.

5 rusty coat hangers out of 5

Some of these seem like relics from an ancient civilization where government bashing was the norm for snarky hip types. This particular ad was pretty lame. For one thing, the opposite of narrow isn't liberal, and they're mixing metaphors like a motherfucker here.The I heart Halliburton button is also annoying. If you didn't understand who Cheney meant, then you probably won't get the allusion to that. One of the worst ads in the collection, as he was one of the worst Vice Presidents of all time (see what I did there?)

2 out of 5 Water Boarders

Another tenuous analogy involving the Bush administration and how shitty your closet space is. Not very creative, but as annoying to a conservative New Yorker as Rachel Maddow. The manila folder with "war secrets" is a nice douchey touch.

1 Michael Moore baseball cap out of 5

This one's very recent and topical. You may have heard that the gay types had wanted to get hitched but some fuddy duddies in Washington wanted to rain on their gay parades. This ad is kinda straightforward but not as controversial as some of the others. It conveys the message that I think most people agree with these days: Why is it anyone's business if someone wants to marry a dude? Gay marriage doesn't affect you. These are the new school MMS ads that shun the message related image in the background for plain block yellow letters over a blue background, so no two guys on a wedding cake or anything to really hammer home the point.

4 out of 5 Lady Gaga t-shirts

Another new school entry, this one's gotta hurt for any long suffering fan of New York's most shitted on team. Imagine the rage that something like this must inspire in the beleaguered Mets fan on his way home on the 7 train from another ugly loss against the Marlins or some other minor league team. The last thing you need is to be mocked by the subway advertisements that usually provide you with such joy and comfort. At least Dr Zizmore never makes fun of your crappy fashion sense.

3 out of 5 Ike Davis Bobblehead dolls.

And finally, maybe the least political of any of Manhattan Mini Storage's ad lineup, but the one that basically sums up their attitude. Nothing says obnoxious liberal hipster like a kickball trophy, except a joke about the kickball trophy falling on your baby. I'm no stranger to cruel humor, so the baby thing doesn't really bother me (yeah, I laugh at dead babies), but the kickball trophy really turns my stomach.

5 out of 5 vegan barbecue restaurants


  1. "If you don't like gay marriage, don't get married."

    I've always read that one as a confrontational ad calling Conservatives closet Homosexuals. Pun intended.

  2. it's don't get gay married not don't get married. I take it as it doesn't affect you since you won't be getting gay married, least that's how I see it.