A (media) trip on the London Tube

Last week I took my camera down onto the tube in London and was looking for some interesting media. I saw some good, some bad.

Firstly these new moving ad displays that CBS Live have put onto key stations such as Oxford Circus. Here is a video that I shot of a reel of the ads that were playing: one for Macmillan Cancer Care, one for Transport for London Alerts and one for Adidas featuring Footlocker.

Firstly I must apologise for the quality of this video both in terms of how it looks and its boring content. Actually it isn’t so much my camera but rather the washed out image of the projector. Even with the only decent creative from Adidas the images look poor. The real shame is the quality of the creative. The TFL and Macmillan efforts are no more than static poster ads with a minimum of action (its even hard to spot anything going on in the TFL ad); even the Adidas ad lacks something without music (was this a TV ad repurposed? – must be).

I don’t know whether you noticed but of all the heads moving past the camera not one turned to look at the adverts, there was more interest in me filming the site! Know I now that the salesmen for these formats might say that it is all about dwell time and people being drawn to them but in the 5 minutes I stood on a business platform not one person seemed interested.

Now I know these formats are not common but surely there is more that can be done creatively in this space. If not then they seem to add no value and given the heat they create and the resources that they consume surely won’t survive very long. The escalator LCDs seem to be more successful (find video) but again the creative that I have seen is largely unoptimised and more like digital posters.

Now a good creative execution from Uniqlo. This is an arresting poster that looks like a Q magazine layout. I loved this poster and would imagine it is really appealing to their target audience. Its for their new range of T-shirts and this poster looks even better in reality that on this photo.

This advert is interesting because it breaks a few of the classic poster format conventions and yet still works. It is lowly branded. You struggle to find the brand name. There is a lot going on, yet it still stays engaging and interesting. It tells a story but it is complex. Overall I think this works especially where dwell time is more than transistory. Hence placement will be important. I photographed it in a corridor in Oxford Circus tube. I think it would work better on a platform (and indeed may well be on the platforms as well).

Feel free to comment.



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Justin Basini

Entrepreneur, author of Why Should Anyone Buy From YOU?, blogger (www.basini.com), business, brand and marketing thinker and do-er, husband and dad

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