Postmates removes an “edgy” new ad that people found ageist

One of the company’s ads goes for an ironically macabre tone and ends up alienating non-millennial New Yorkers.

What: A new campaign that didn’t provoke the exact intended reaction.


Who: Postmates.

Why we care: The No. 1 rule for breaking into app-based food delivery appears to be: Choose a name that in no way has any association with food whatsoever. New Yorkers have embraced Seamless, which sounds like the hot new digital way to get alterations made on your trousers, and many other city-dwellers but mostly Californians have Postmates, which sounds like a dating service for stamps. Recently, however, Postmates has set its sights on taking some of that New York food delivery action away from Seamless–to eat Seamless’s lunch for it, so to speak. As AdWeek noted in April, Postmates tried to impress New Yorkers with a series of wordy, minimalist ads designed to appeal their cosmopolitan sensibilities. “Your friends think they’re Carries but they’re really Samanthas and you need a night off to be Charlotte,” one ad reads, referencing the show that New Yorkers are definitely still talking about and identifying with in 2018, even as one of the actors from the show is running for governor. It was another Postmates ad, however, whose message some New Yorkers were upset about having delivered to them.

“When you want a whole cake to yourself because you’re turning 30, which is basically 50, which is basically dead,” reads the ad. Postmates is certainly going for something here; an ironically macabre, millennial Liz Lemon kind of vibe. Who doesn’t find time’s cruel push broom into cultural irrelevance hilarious? Apparently a lot of New Yorkers, who thought Postmates either missed the mark with their ad, or that they hit the mark but should have aimed somewhere else. The company responded to the above tweet by mentioning that they’d received many other complaints about the ad in question and would be taking it down soon. No word yet on the status of the Meatball Shop-focused ad that reads, “You want balls delivered straight to your mouth.”