Brands will try just about anything to catch people’s attention these days amid all the noise out there, but sometimes they really miss the mark. Critics are saying Postmates may have gone a little too far this time—even by New Yorkers’ standards.
The company has recently tried to carve out a share of the food-delivery market in NYC, but it’s up against some stiff competition from Seamless, which New Yorkers have grown attached to over the years.
Lizz Niemeyer, director of brand marketing at Postmates, told Adweek in April that after a successful ad campaign in Los Angeles, the company tried to bring its “We Get It” campaign to New York, which has a more crowded delivery market.
As a part of the minimalist out-of-home campaign, which aims to show New Yorkers that Postmates “gets” them, Postmates released an ad that read: “When you want a whole cake to yourself because you’re turning 30, which is basically 50, which is basically dead. Dessert. We get it.”
“It’s a common theme we see on social media—people love that on Postmates, you can order whole cakes and pints of ice cream with no judgment whatsoever,” a company spokesperson said. “Often our customers are doing so as a celebration on their birthdays. We’ve seen several playful jokes on social media about how ordering cake on Postmates makes birthdays better at any age. This was the inspiration for this particular billboard.”
The ad certainly caught people’s eye but with unintended consequences. Unfortunately, some more opinionated New Yorkers don’t want any postmortem humor with their Postmates delivery, and the ad came off as tone-deaf rather than sympathetic.