As I was in a CTA bus in Chicago yesterday, fond memories of the Hong Kong super fast transit system came to mind. The image blurred and gave way to one of colorful trams in front of the HSBC building in HK. These trams run exclusively on double-deckers and is the only tramway or 香港電車 in the world to do so. Several tourists hop on to a tram to see Hong Kong island all the way from Shau Kei Wan to Kennedy Town, thus covering the island in less than a day.
We couldn’t stop staring at these vehicles – not just for their historic value but also for their advertising impact. Almost all trams we saw were painted from top to bottom with an advertisement beckoning the viewer to douse herself in perfume or to buy home insurance and be safe. Bright, colorful and painted all over the tram, these ads were yelling Buy me now! to the consumer. From afar, these trams looked like full-page newspaper color ads with tiny people in passport photos staring out at the reader. If only these trams had colorful lights all over them – they would have made a mobile Times Square!