Toward a More “Magical” Commute

Interesting story in the Times about marketing products to people stuck in traffic. Altanta of course has that legendary commuter traffic, so Random House targeted the city for its “Atlanta Listens” campaign to promote audio books. It didn’t hurt that the city appears to be well-read.

Writes reporter Andrew Adam Newman: The copy begins, “Make your commute more … ” and ends with one of a number of adjectives, such as “magical” (with an image of the book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) or “lighthearted” (with “The Nanny Diaries.”)

Random House sees the audio books as “an antidote to road rage.”

Speaking of road rage, the article reminded me of a well-placed billboard I saw recently on Rte. 87 in the Bronx, right around where it gets jammed up with GW Bridge traffic. “Highway to Hell,” it reads, with an ad for either KRock or the classic rock station Q104.

Similar to Atlanta Listens, a company called was targeting Metro-North commuters with audio books–you probably saw the ads featuring a blissed-out rider tuned in to the latest James Patterson novel as his fellow riders remained stuck in dirty, clunky old-media wares like the NY Post. Three times, I emailed the flack about testing out the service and telling dear Trainjotting readers whether it’s worth your hard-earned scratch. Two times the flack said my account info was on its way. Nada.

But I’ll try him again, because y’all deserve the best.

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