Irrelevant and Ridiculous Bus Advertisement


What a great quote about acceptance.

Beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin. It’s about knowing and accepting who you are. — Ellen DeGeneres

Even the design of the ad — the muted olive background, soft white text, scholarly serif font — promotes a feeling of oneness with the world.

So what is this ad for? At first glance, I thought:

  • Healthcare company which values wellness

  • Organic skincare brand

  • Non-profit organization or public service announcement

Nope — none of the above. This is an ad for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

This is an ad about buses.

The Ellen DeGeneres quote is interesting, but it has little to do with the product, service, or organization that it stems from. It’s a missed opportunity to reinforce the SFMTA’s purpose or values in the minds of consumers (city residents) who use the service.

One theory for why the SFMTA created the ad is because it didn’t sell the remnant advertising inventory for bus placements. So they decided to put a positive message on the bus real estate.

However, a more relevant message could have been equally positive. Think a message about clean air, the environment, San Francisco community, etc.

I haven’t seen any other ads that indicate that this is a campaign, but if you find examples, please send them my way. I’m curious as to what the other quotes might look like.


Photo credit: Muni metro light rail, SF Examiner