Why Does Everyone Hate the Venmo Ad Campaign



If you’re in New York, perhaps you’ve seen the out-of-home campaign for Venmo, an app that makes it easy to send money to a friend. It features Lucas (who actually works at Venmo) staring off into space with copy that doesn’t say much.

Copy includes, “Lucas buys a round” and “Lucas uses Venmo” and “Lucas takes the stairs” and “Lucas has dreams.” The ads don’t actually explain Venmo, which in and of itself is a worthy tactic with the aim of getting people curious enough to find out for themselves.

But it would seem there is an outright wave of hatred for this campaign if you check Twitter and various blog comments.

One can argue the approach was intentional. Launch a lame campaign, get people talking about it, get free publicity. Which is exactly what’s happening.

Or, if you’re ad guy John Laramie, you might say, “Who is Lucas? I should care that Lucas likes magic? Oh wait, I like magic, so maybe I’ll like Lucas, which means then I should try Venmo? Oh my god, I ride subways too, just like Lucas! Let me go Google Venmo when I get off this train. Maybe it’s a subway app?”

Or if you’re Steve Hall who publishes Adrants, you might say, “Who cares. It’s just a stupid app. Move along people.”

lucas_takes_the_stairs venmo_lucas_red lucase_uses_venmo

Reprinted by permission.

About the author: Steve Hall

Steve Hall is a marketing professional, publisher, writer, community manager, photographer and all-around lover of advertising.

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