To promote special Independence Day services to help Austinites enjoy the fireworks without the hassle of traffic, Capital Metro has released an interesting advertisement campaign -- and you probably know exactly which ads we’re talking about.
Across publications and bus skins, you’ve probably seen those strange ads with fireworks, clouds, a United States flag -- and Capital Metro vehicles with the wings and heads of bald eagles edited in a fashion that turns them into a terrifyingly strange bus-bird hybrid.
It’s weird and kind of creepy. But if the goal is to get the word out, maybe it’s working?
Well, leave it to Reddit to take notice and question the ways of CapMetro.
Reddit user PM_Me_BreakfastTacos posted in the Austin subreddit an image of one of Capital Metro’s #FlyOnThe4th ads with the caption, “Alright, who gave Capmetro Photoshop?”
Then, a user by the name of "austintexasgov," who Reddit labels as an “Official COA User,” was quick to clap back.
In their response, they posted a GIF version of the same photo in an image editing software window. The major difference? Sunglasses appear to fall onto the face of an eagle along with the words “Deal With It.”
“Quick response, check. Sense of humor, check. That’s it, we’re moving to Austin,” another Redditor responded.
Paul Del Bosque, the real graphic designer behind Capital Metro's advertisements, released the following statement:
"We are so glad people got the joke: we went extreme and over-the-top, on purpose, to get everyone's attention. In case you’re wondering, I did in fact use Photoshop CC ... and thought it would be funnier to leave imperfections like window reflection in the design. There are a couple soft-light layers of fireworks but otherwise the eagles are the stars. Thanks to the fans for creating the GIFs on social media, and we wish everyone a safe 4th of July!"
So what exactly is #FlyOnThe4th?
“4th of July is cookouts and fireworks, an afternoon at the lake and a night on a picnic blanket looking at the sky,” Capital Metro writes on its event page. “But it doesn't have to include stop-and-start traffic or waiting an hour in a dirt parking lot at 11 at night before you can even start to head home.”
So, they said their transportation will run at Saturday-level service on Independence Day, meaning MetroRail will run until midnight and MetroRapid will operate until 12:30 a.m.
For more information on planning your travels to enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks around Austin, go here.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story implied an affiliation between Capital Metro and the "austintexasgov" Reddit response. The story has been edited to reflect that Capital Metro is not affiliated with any response.