Your subway stop are now announced by…a brand?

On the 7 train into work this morning, I was greeted by the voice over the intercom, which I assumed was the train conductor, announced the next stop. Then, to my surprise the voice added “this is a local train so we are making all the stops, baby!!!” I thought an conductor was having fun. I was delighted.

Before long, it became clear that the voice was a recording of Awkwafina as part of an advertising campaign for Nora from Queens–a new television show. 

Awkwafina attends the IFP's 29th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on December 02, 2019 in New York City.

Like me, some of the approximately 820,000 daily 7-train riders thought a live conductor was cracking jokes.

Other people recognized a new form of advertising and were annoyed.

For it’s part the MTA is interested in opening up more announcements to sponsors.

“We are exploring new and different ways to generate much needed revenue, while also surprising and delighting customers,” said NYC Transit chief customer officer Sarah Meyer.

Why it’s hot: 

As the era of voice technology arises, expectations about what spaces should be free from audio ads may shift. Is this a new opportunity, a new form of sound pollution, or both?