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Consumer engagement with Underground advertising. Prepared for London Underground Limited. Summer 2003. Agenda. Objectives and methodology An overview of London Underground travellers General perceptions of advertising on London Underground

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summer 2003

Consumer engagement with Underground advertising

Prepared for London Underground Limited

Summer 2003

agenda
Agenda
  • Objectives and methodology
  • An overview of London Underground travellers
  • General perceptions of advertising on London Underground
  • Response to current advertising formats/displays on the Underground
  • Response to newer advertising initiatives on the Underground
  • Exploring expectations of advertising on the London Underground in the future
  • Conclusions & recommendations
hall partners research 2003
Hall & Partners research 2003
  • Commissioned and funded by the LU
  • Designed to explore traveller attitudes to existing and new advertising formats
  • Methodology approved by the LU – not CBS Outdoor
    • No “media owner bias”
    • Genuine desire to investigate traveller appreciation
methodology
Methodology
  • 8 x 2 hour focus groups
  • 6 x 1.5 hour accompanied “walkabouts”
  • Balanced sample, mixture of peak/off peak, heavy/medium users
  • Group respondents pre-tasked with visiting stations and filling in brief questionnaire
slide5
Hall & Partners “Framework” approach explains the different ways communication works to build brand relationships
there are similarities that tie london underground travellers together
There are similarities that tie London Underground travellers together

Independent

mindset e.g. in

relation to

finances and

travel

Interesting

people e.g.

experiences,

hobbies /

interests

Optimists

Appreciate and

‘thrive on’ the

buzz, diversity and

opportunities

of London

Outgoing,

energetic and

enthusiastic

personalities

Can

appreciate

humorous

advertising

Engage

strongly with

clever/intelligent,

adult, intriguing

and sophisticated

advertising

there are similarities that tie london underground travellers together 2
A wide range of brands/categories/styles of advertising is considered acceptable for advertising on the Tube

Looking for entertainment, fun and leisure (a release from ‘the everyday’)

Looking to update their knowledge

Want to feel in the know and up-to-date with what’s going on in London

There are similarities that tie London Underground travellers together (2)

Social people who

enjoy going out and

having fun. Entertainment

and leisure activities are

often a key interest/

pastime e.g theatre,

movies, books,

magazines

Liberal, accepting

and open-minded

attitude

Both impact on response to advertising on The London Underground

overall perceptions of advertising on the london underground
Overall perceptions of advertising on the London Underground

Across the sample we spoke with, travellers are consistently positive about the presence of advertising in the Tube environment: reinforces previous findings

Provides

a marker

for travellers‘

standing position

on the

platform

Visually enhances

the environment and

service experience

by making it

brighter, more

attractive and

more appealing

Mood

enhancer

e.g. lift/change

feelings while

travelling

What does

advertising

bring to

London

Underground?

You need

something

to look

at

Acts as an

information source

keeping travellers

up-to-date with current

UK and London

happenings

(particularly

entertainment)

Provides a

distraction from

the environment and

service experience

e.g. mental

escapism

They

liven up the

journey

Acts as a

boredom/

time filler

response to current advertising formats tube card panels
Response to current advertising formats: Tube Card Panels
  • Tube card panels continue to work effectively as an advertising format
  • They work most strongly on a Persuasion level
  • The format is seen to have not changed significantly over recent years
response to current advertising formats tube card panels13

Persuasion

Response to current advertising formats: Tube Card Panels
  • Tube card panels allow for detailed information to be communicated
  • Functional categories strongly associated
  • Work mainly as a brand awareness tool
response to current advertising formats tube card panels14

Involvement

Response to current advertising formats: Tube Card Panels
  • This format fits best with the medium in which it is being used
  • Whilst there is engagement with this format, it is currently not as strong as it could be
response to current advertising formats tube card panels15

Salience

Response to current advertising formats: Tube Card Panels
  • These are currently probably the least salient of the formats
  • The size of the individual ads do not lead to strong stand-out
  • However, those which are more visually impactful tend to work the strongest against the salience dynamic
  • The categories advertised are almost expected now
  • New categories or formats within the Tube carriages were welcomed
response to current advertising formats tube card panels16

Brand Response

Response to current advertising formats: Tube Card Panels
  • Brand awareness / registration is key take-out
  • Tube card panels very effective at encouraging consumers to act
  • Lack of relevance can create a barrier to acting
response to current advertising formats escalators
Response to current advertising formats: Escalators
  • Escalator areas are top of mind when consumers think of advertising on the Tube
  • Escalator Panels in particular play an important role in the travellers’ Tube experience
  • Engagement depends on both the category (relevance) and use of panels
  • Escalator arches are perceived to be a new approach to advertising
response to current advertising formats escalator panels

Involvement

Response to current advertising formats: Escalator panels
  • An involving format (captive audience, looking for escapism and instant gratification)
  • Sequential advertising heightens engagement with this format
  • Can pass too quickly to properly engage
response to current advertising formats escalator panels19

Persuasion

Response to current advertising formats: Escalator panels
  • Escalator Panels are working in terms of creating brand awareness and communicating succinct information
  • Key categories work well within this format
  • Works to link the tube environment with specific areas of London: creates a feeling of belonging, it makes sense
response to current advertising formats escalator panels20

Salience

Response to current advertising formats: Escalator Panels
  • Not the most Salient of the formats available
  • However, the most Salience occurs when sequential advertising is used
  • Sense that advertisers are using escalator panels more creatively than say, cross track posters
response to current advertising formats escalator panels21

Brand Response

Response to current advertising formats: Escalator Panels
  • There is evidence of action being taken following seeing escalator panels
  • However, being used differently to tube car panels
response to current advertising formats posters
Response to current advertising formats: Posters
  • Both corridor and cross track posters are considered an inherent part of the London Underground environment
  • Cross track appear to be working stronger than corridor posters as consumers have time to stop and take in the information
  • New technologies / approaches for corridor posters have real potential to increase not only involvement but also salience of this format
response to current advertising formats cross track posters

Salience

Response to current advertising formats: Cross Track Posters
  • Highly visual and aesthetically impactful
  • Creative stand out is optimal here because of their sheer size and time spent looking at them
  • Examples which are working well include the Carling sheep (off the wall humour, unexpected)
response to current advertising formats cross track posters24

Involvement

Response to current advertising formats: Cross Track Posters
  • Involvement is created automatically with this format
  • Both escapism and humour are key to Involvement on a more proactive level
  • Aspirational categories further hook interest with travellers projecting themselves into the advertising
  • Aesthetically can be unappealing which impacts on Involvement
  • Same site advertising by one brand (esp. Jack Daniels) is engaging: consumers express interest in seeing the next ‘instalment’
response to current advertising formats cross track posters25

Persuasion

Response to current advertising formats: Cross Track Posters
  • The brand / company presence is far stronger than product information or the functional messages
  • Cross track advertising communicates a big brand with lots of cash and confidence
  • Most commonly associated with entertainment, alcoholic drinks (esp. Jack Daniels, Carling) and holidays
  • About placing an idea/name in consumers heads
response to current advertising formats cross track posters26

Brand Response

Response to current advertising formats: Cross Track Posters
  • The impact is far more subliminal (in terms of information) but brand has strong presence
  • However, there is less recall of direct actions taken as a result of this format
response to current advertising formats corridor posters

Persuasion

Response to current advertising formats: Corridor Posters
  • Associated categories: books, films, drinks
  • Working more as a prompt
  • Often not mentioned as a key format, even though travellers are surrounded with them
  • Simplicity appears to be working the best rather than ads which need to be decoded
response to current advertising formats corridor posters28

Involvement

Response to current advertising formats: Corridor Posters
  • Higher engagement amongst off-peak travellers
  • Posters at the end / bottom of escalators can work well and hook consumers in
  • However, overall engagement is fairly limited (with single ads)
  • Scrollers in corridors are more involving than static posters
  • Work to brighten up the Underground corridors and are a familiar friend
response to current advertising formats corridor posters29

Salience

Response to current advertising formats: Corridor Posters
  • Minimal stand out as corridor posters have become simply ‘part of the furniture’
  • As most travellers are looking ahead, some posters are overlooked or not noticed
  • Backlit are more impactful
  • Corridor domination works well with this format and ‘carry’ travellers through the corridor
future optimisation of current formats
Future optimisation of current formats
  • Overall, the current formats play an important role in the experience of London Underground
  • Consumers are very open to greater creativity within these formats
  • Sequential advertising (of different ads for one brand) works well across all formats as it hooks consumers
  • Teaser campaigns have potential to increase engagement
future optimisation of current formats31
Future optimisation of current formats
  • Carriage domination could be effective in creating Saliency when considering tube card panels
  • Single site advertising is appealing (NB cross track most effective format for this)
response to more recent initiatives plasma screens
Response to more recent initiatives: Plasma screens
  • Consumers consider plasma screens to be the future form of advertising
  • Plasma screens work well due to the moving images and technological feel and look: a recognised format on other transport.
  • Ideally, consumers would like to see plasma screens on the platform. They feel that they would benefit from them most here and find it enjoyable whilst waiting for their train. They are a communication medium that is still relatively new and fresh and captures attention

Development

? / 

  • Informative
  • Modern
  • Interactive feel
  • Can stand out
  • Innovative
  • Welcomed at platform level (movement holds interest)
  • Information interspersed with advertising or sponsorship would capture the attention & optimise the medium
  • Difficult to spot
  • Type of advertising is key in capturing the attention

I think you

just walk past

them because

they’re not in

your field

of vision

It feels like

a modern way

of commun-

icating

What is the

connection in

the morning

with a pint of

Carling

lenticular panels
Lenticular Panels
  • There is great opportunity for advertising in this format although its success is rooted in its novelty an unique feel. Therefore, by limiting the numbers of panels, the format will remain salient and intriguing in consumers’ minds and can ultimately generate brand interest

Lenticular Panels

? / 

  • Highly involving due to holographic nature
  • Interaction cause & effect strongly engages consumers
  • Creative and clever
  • Futuristic
  • Modern
  • Innovative
  • Createstalkability
  • The visuals must be the key to conveying a brand message - information needs to be minimal for maximum impact
  • This format reflects an innovative brand communication and consumers appreciate creativity and cleverness which can generate increased levels of involvement and salience for a brand
  • Limit usage of format to retain high levels of impact and salience
  • Not all brands would be suitable
    • it needs to reflect a modern and creatively sophisticated brand

It's the

sort of thing

you’d tell a

friend to

look at

scrollers
Scrollers

Scrollers

? / 

  • Fast moving
  • Moving images keep attention
  • Modern alternative to back lit stretch skins (movement adds another dimension of involvement)
  • The noise as they scroll further captures attention
  • Some mention of stopping and watching (but unlikely in peak flow due to human traffic)
  • Feel modern and continental
  • Scrollers fit well into any area and improve ambience
  • Ads with minimal information and maximum colour visuals work hardest at holding attention
  • Potential to stand out in ticket halls due to sound and movement (improves ambience also)
  • Welcomed as an interesting diversion at platform level
  • Difficult to see during peak traffic times (in corridors)
    • safety issues regarding stopping and watching
  • Overcrowding with information detracts from impact - visual impact must lead (e.g. via bright colours)
ticket gateways
Ticket Gateways

Ticket Gateways

? / 

  • Raise brand awareness levels, and can work well as a call to action (e.g. newspapers)
  • Strong colours, bold branding stand out well
  • Direct relevance to area strengthens involvement e.g. theatres, department stores
  • Exiting the station appears to work strongest as a memory prompt
  • Food, drink and entertainment are areas that capture attention as long as there is a link to the locality
  • Newspapers also work well and are gratefully received as a memory prompt
  • Bland colours go unnoticed
  • Advertising can be overlooked unless prompting a direct call to action
l e d
L. E. D

LEDs

  • Interesting and interactive medium
  • Associated with up-to-date information
  • A familiar format (inside some carriages already)
  • There is real opportunity to locate LEDs in tube cars
    • majority welcome idea of information (news, travel, temperature updates) and advertising conveyed in a moving format. This captures attention and prompts consumers to actively seek them out
  • Sponsorship could work well - as consumers regard LEDs as informative and an interesting medium for communication. This could reflect positively on brands and raise awareness
travelator bank
Travelator (Bank)

If the advert is on the travelator, you’re more inclined to look at the whole of it

  • The travelator is the most experiential of the advertising formats. It proves extremely popular amongst consumers as it is:
    • Thought provoking
    • Novel and unique
    • Holds interest
  • The format reflects:
    • Innovation
    • Attention to creative detail
    • Improved mood ambience

It’s got a very clean feel about it

travelator bank39
Travelator (Bank)
  • The travelator positively impacts on the brands advertised and the London Underground who are perceived to be creating an interesting, modern and clever forum for advertising.
  • Overall, this experiential format feels more interactive than any other format.
  • There is enormous scope for brands who wish to communicate their brand values.
  • The creative is key - it must be cleverly tailored to the space
sponsorship busking
Sponsorship: Busking
  • There is widespread appreciation for busking
  • There was some recognition of the Carling busking sponsorship areas but some were not clear what it was although once explained response was extremely positive
  • Some confusion about how the sponsorship works but consumers are positive towards the supporting of ‘talented’ (vs. talentless) buskers
sponsorship busking42
Sponsorship: Busking
  • Buskers are considered an important part of a station’s environment
  • Sponsorship is welcomed because it ensures quality talent and entertainment. There is potential for a variety of brands to sponsor busking as the positive brand effects are substantial for both the sponsor and the London Underground
sponsorship station domination
Sponsorship: Station Domination
  • The adidas campaign is positively received. Consumers equate the campaign with strong brand messages
  • By dominating a station, adidas conveys that it is a brand that is phenomenally successful and dominant in its category
  • A personality stamp is refreshing and different
  • Advertising in this way feels unique and exciting to consumers although after 8 weeks, many feel a change is necessary

It would

hit you…

get the point

across. I mean you

would see it

everywhere

It’s

decorating

the place

It’s like

a total

facelift

The adidas

one… they're

putting a lot of

money into it…

it’s sharp

isn’t in

It says

the brands

are doing

alright for

themselves

sponsorship station domination44
Sponsorship: Station Domination
  • A few consumers were familiar with the station domination of Wimbledon
  • It was considered novel/eye-catching/impactful/clever
  • Sponsorship in this way conveys positive brand messages for Ariel
  • Train Carriage domination is particularly welcomed by consumers who feel it breaks down the monotony of a journey and feels special, novel and original
  • There was spontaneous recall of Yellow Pages advertising in this way

It would

probably stick

in your mind…

you would tell

someone

else

Just by it being

there it’s improving..

Like the Southfields

one, I was looking

forward to going

home at the

end of the day

sponsorship station domination45
Sponsorship: Station Domination
  • Consumers perceive any category to be suitable for advertising in this way.
  • The main benefits to sponsorship are the values it injects into the brand
    • Humour
    • Confidence
    • Power
    • Cleverness
    • Aspiration
    • Salience
  • Advertising in this way still feels relatively unique and consumers are intrigued by sponsorship methods of domination and for some it can prompt reappraisal of a brand due to increased credibility perceptions
expectations of future trends effecting advertising on the london underground
Expectations of future trends effecting advertising on the London Underground
  • Consumers are very creative when it comes to imagining future advertising possibilities on the London Underground
  • Some consumers spontaneously predicted future formats evaluated in the research e.g. street beam/cross track projection
  • Common consumer suggestions for future advertising developments include:
    • television being introduced as medium
    • more interactive advertising e.g. touching the advertisement
    • ‘moving’ / scrolling adverts (increased proliferation)
    • maintaining the presence of buskers to improve station ambience
    • three-dimensional advertising that increases interaction and feels futuristic
    • digital teletext pages with information (e.g. travel, weather, etc), located on the Tube or in the stations
    • advertising on other areas of the train, such as the front and back of the train, on the seats etc
    • music within the Tube interspersed with advertising or sponsorship
conclusions and recommendations
Conclusions and Recommendations
  • The research has highlighted a huge opportunity to inject greater dynamism and innovation into London Underground advertising
  • Whilst current formats are appreciated for their familiarity, consumers give strong permission to make Tube advertising more involving and more salient
  • Technological advances have created expectations of greater movement, imagery and interaction
  • Research indicates that the new initiatives being introduced are welcomed as delivering against these consumer needs and expectations
    • plasma screens and lenticular panels
  • That said, the current formats are still integral to the Tube experience
conclusions and recommendations50
Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Current formats/displays:
    • the key current formats in consumers minds are: escalator panels, cross track posters and Tube car panels
    • some current formats are could benefit from more impactful and creative use
  • Due to the increased level of savviness, there is opportunity to develop / encourage stronger brand relationships through clever use of formats
  • Greater use of scrollers in other areas could enhance the overall environment
  • The future of Tube advertising certainly lies in the use of technology