The subway is one of the least friendly places in New York City. Each passenger is in their own little world. No one speaks, smiles or even makes eye contact. Nick Smatt, a graduate, working as a strategic planner in New York, came up with an idea that could change that, at least for a few minutes on Valentine’s Day.
“The need to give and receive love is universal. And that can even be done with a stranger on the subway. The insight was “It’s not who you love, it’s that you love”.
Nick placed roses, with notes attached, on each of the subway car’s seats. The note instructed, “Give this rose so someone who doesn’t have one.” Watch his video to see how people responded and find out what he discovered about human nature.
“On the subway, people are more interested in getting from A to B than they are anything else. So the most interesting responses were from people who were surprised by being given a rose from a stranger.
Love can take many forms – even with a stranger on the subway. People just need a reason or excuse to reach out.
What’s been beautiful is witnessing the film being shared around the world by people I don’t even know and reading about how much it moved people.
I still keep in touch with a lot of my classmates. I’ve actually collaborated with them since the program ended. Being a Strategist, I’m not as well equipped as they are when it comes to execution and knowing how to use the tools to bring things to life, so it’s great to have a network of people who don’t just think of ideas but have the know-how and grit to get them done. I think Miami Ad School does a superb job of instilling that quality in the students. For this project, I linked up with a photographer that had a shoulder rig and camera and he filmed it for me while I played the role of writer/director.
Will I do it again?
Inspiration is everywhere and it’d be silly for me to stop thinking of what to do next. I’m always on the lookout for connecting ideas to people – especially people I don’t know.
I’m fascinated by human behavior.
After three great years in account management, my curiosity for getting closer to the human behavior and creative aspects of the business drove me to Miami Ad School’s Strategic Planning Boot Camp. It was the idea of creating change using research, intuition and connecting the dots that pulled me to a career in planning. Miami Ad School opened my eyes to new ways of thinking and collaborating with different minds from around the world. Planning can be an “always on” job where inspiration can be far away from your office desk and the job description includes the willingness to be open to everyone and everything.