I never went to Advertising College but I can guarantee you the first axiom they tattoo on every Freshman deltoid is "Know Your Market."
So who is this ad for?
Are we the girl? Is the girl standing sassily in opposition to us? Is Bank of America making fun of the girl? The ambiguity is overwhelming.
This thing actually combines two advertising cliches I despise: ads that use the word hipster like it's an actual relatable thing and ads that are subway-specific. When a poster tries to get all "in the trenches with the soldiers" I can't take it.
As with most ads that invoke the H-word, this one doesn't know if it's making fun of hipsters or courting them. Since no one has ever self-identified as a Hpstr, it can't be for them so it has to be for everyone else, right? Which makes this a stupefying bit of copy because it's telling all the normals (us?) that the people vaguely known to be insufferable entitled brats have way more access to cash now. Is that good?
Listen, Bank of America. If you're going to draw lines in the sand, you have to pick a side.
FlatRate takes it one step further by really specifically calling you a fucking asshole before asking for your business. Don't make fun of your customers, dicks. Also, Resolve daddy issues? God you're awful.
"Hey babe we're hipsters, right? And we're looking to buy. Maybe we should go to this."
- No one
I sure hope the agency that made this didn't get ridiculous boatloads of money (they did). If anything, the H-word does the largest disservice to calls-to-action like this. The poster is literally calling you a hipster for donating money. I would say these places need youth consultants but they were probably the dummies that came up with garbage like this.
Also, that picture makes no sense.
Gotcha. Fixed gear bikes. Skinny jeans. Irony. You know what the worst part about hipster advertising is? It's lazy. To me that's worse than being offensive or passive-aggressive or cruel.
It doesn't risk or commit to anything. If it's not lampooning the same handful of extremely common traits (iPods? Books?!), it levels responsibility on the viewer to define what the ad is actually saying (Hipsters like the Honda Jazz and you should like the Honda Jazz but feel free to think hipsters are losers). It expects you to do what it refuses to do which is make sense of a vague and polarizing word/group/idea and either identify with it or mock it or ideally both. That is obscenely lazy.