Ben Larrison Wants to Make the CTA Funnier
Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:00 AM by Kiley Peters
There's the saying that laughter is the best medicine. There's another saying that says laughter heals. There's another saying that ... people just like to laugh. We live in a city chock-full of comedians and there's one in particular who is going out of his way to brighten people's day. Ladies and gentlemen, Ben Larrison wants to brighten visitors' travels on the El with his Kickstarter campaign to create funny CTA ads.
What is your goal with this Kickstarter campaign?
I want to buy ad space in 100 CTA train cars, so that I can legally put ridiculous stuff up in 100 CTA train cars and make our commutes more fun. My hope is that the ads will help inject a little silliness, fun and absurdity into the everyday lives of Chicagoans and tourists and hopefully make them smile or laugh.
How long have you been planning this?
I had the idea a while back and then I finally started researching the plausibility of the idea with the CTA’s ad agency in early July. Once I determined it was doable, I went ahead and set up the Kickstarter.
You succeeded with your Sheryl Swoopes show at ComedySportz earlier this summer, what else have you done along these lines and do you have anything else in the works?
Back in college (I went to Northwestern), I started something called The Happiness Club, where our goal was to spread happiness throughout the campus and community with acts of kindness. So we would do things like give out free hugs and hot chocolate outside the library the night before the start of finals week or build a sandbox on campus in the middle of the night and leave it there for people to play in the following day. I like doing stuff like that, where the goal is just to make people smile and hopefully help make their day a little better and a little more fun.
What type of content should we expect to see in these CTA ads and who will be designing it?
The potential ad campaigns include:
Facts About Squirrels Ads. Example 1: "FACT: You can't prove that squirrels aren't all plotting to sneak into our bedrooms and tickle us in our sleep. #SquirrelTruth."
Example 2: "FACT: Statistically speaking, at least one 'person' on this train is actually 7 squirrels dressed up in human clothing. Can you spot him/her? #SquirrelTruth."
Vanessa Ads. Ads from someone pleading to "Vanessa" to take him back. Example 1: "Vanessa, I'm not allergic to dogs anymore! Please come back."
Example 2: "Vanessa, please take me back. I wear button down shirts now. It’s a good look for me, I think."
Random Pictures of Goats Ads. Ads featuring just pictures of goats ... because goats are awesome/hilarious.
Kickstarter backers will get to vote on the potential ad copy, so they will have a voice in choosing what goes up in the El cars. The final designs will be completed once we have achieved our funding goal, so I don’t have any official news on that yet, but several fantastic professional designers have already come forward and volunteered to help out in making these.
Modified image by (vincent desjardins), via Flickr