Quantcast

Lyft Guerrilla Marketing Campaign Stencils City Sidewalks

Photo: Lyft

By Nuala Sawyer - Published on February 02, 2015.

Unhappy tipster Raymond B. let us know about the latest marketing campaign from rideshare company Lyft, which has hit the sidewalks of San Francisco with a hopscotch-style ad.

"Lyft graffiti is defacing public property in mid-Market," stated Raymond, sharing a photo taken at Van Ness and Market.

The guerrilla marketing campaign was announced on Lyft's Facebook page on January 30th. According to Lyft, more stencils can be found on the corners of Polk and Washington, Chestnut and Fillmore, 4th and Townsend (next to Caltrain), Post and Geary, and Market and Spear streets. The "skip your commute" campaign was launched in collaboration with "Instagram and Vine celebs," such as this video choreographed by dancer Meghan Sanett. 

The hopscotch ads appear to have been spray-painted or chalked onto the sidewalk, though it's unclear who is responsible for their removal once the campaign is over. We asked a Lyft representative about plans for removal, but have not yet heard back with details on that front.

San Francisco is no stranger to having its streets used as a platform for advertising campaigns. In 2010, a Zynga marketing effort to spread the word about its Mafia Wars game backfired. Dozens of fake $25,000 dollar bills were pasted along the sidewalks in Hayes Valley using an industrial-style glue, and the "dollars" had to be removed by the Department of Public Works with a professional steam cleaner. Each location required 45 minutes of DPW time, despite not having "any staff to spare," said a spokesperson.

The SF Attorney's office eventually reached a $45,000 settlement with Davis Elen Advertising of Los Angeles, which was behind the campaign. 

In 2013, Arcade Fire chose to promote their album Reflektor through guerrilla-style stencils around the city.  Street artists were hired to install the stencils across the world, though no plan for cleanup was ever publicly stated. 

In related news, tipster Bill D. also wrote in to note a 311 request to remove Lyft marketing materials from a wall at 145 Fell St.

Photo via 311 request

The permanence of Lyft's new hopscotch ads will be put to the test later this week, with showers predicted to begin on Thursday and lasting through the weekend. 

1 day ago
San Francisco Chinatown North Beach

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and founder of City Lights Booksellers, dies at 101

Legendary North Beach poet, publisher, and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti, has died. He was 101 years of age. The beloved literary icon died peacefully in his San Francisco home surrounded by loved ones, "holding the hands of his son and his son’s girlfriend, 'as he took his last breath,'" his son Lorenzo Ferlinghetti said on Tuesday. Read More

1 day ago
San Francisco Bernal Heights Mission

Virgil's Sea Room closes permanently while next door El Rio reopens for to-go drinks

Two bars, two different fates. Over in Bernal Heights/La Lengua, next-door bars El Rio and Virgil's Sea Room, which almost share a backyard were it not for a fence, have arrived at diverging moments in this COVID year. Read More

1 day ago
San Francisco Castro Duboce Triangle

During COVID year, Castro business owners report over $120,000 in smashed windows

Since the Castro Merchants launched a broken-window recovery initiative and survey last Thursday, neighborhood business owners have reported 72 incidents of vandalized and broken windows at a cost of $135,472.74. Read More

Feb 22, 2021
San Francisco Cole Valley Inner Sunset

Neighborhood groups sue to halt massive UCSF Parnassus campus rebuild and housing project

Former SF mayor Art Agnos is among those speaking out and filing lawsuits claiming that an environmental impact report on the expansion was shoddy and rushed. Read More