New York's MTA Releases Collectible, David Bowie Inspired Metrocards
In order to promote the "David Bowie Is" exhibit currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum, the Soho subway station at Broadway-Lafayette has been decked out in all things Bowie. The promotion has been done in collaboration with Spotify and the MTA. Highlights include a painting of the late rock star’s likeness spread over a number of rafters, a number of colorful signs and quotes, and a mock street sign reading David Bowery.
The coolest aspect of the promotion, however, is the series of designer Metrocards created in celebration of Bowie’s life and art. These collector’s items are available to subway riders for the price of at least $6.50 each (they have to be purchased with a minimum of two rides).
We’re celebrating David Bowie’s life in NYC, from his first show at Carnegie Hall, to the decades he called SoHo home in our Broadway-Lafayette station domination! Head underground to get 1 of our 5 custom MetroCards. (Or more!) 📸Masayoshi Sukita. #DavidBowieIsHere pic.twitter.com/09wfWFRAia
— Spotify (@Spotify) April 18, 2018
This promotion is primarily in support of the museum exhibit, but it also serves to celebrate Bowie’s longtime residence in Soho. And, while the series of designs will definitely be popular with Bowie fans and commuters alike, this type of promotion involving custom Metrocards is nothing new for the MTA.
Its Poetry in Motion program, which works in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America, has been a Metrocard fixture since it first displayed part of Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” on cards in 1992. Not only does this collaboration keep New York’s poetic past alive, it also manages to make the daily commute a little more bearable, and this is something we could all use from time to time.
In any case, people love David Bowie, and they also love collectibles. This is a great example of the power of print marketing to bring the people what they want while turning something otherwise mundane, like a Metrocard, into a work of art. As a tribute to one of the greatest and most unique artists of the 20th century, this promotion has truly struck gold, or, at the very least, stardust.