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Underground Advertising

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Advertising on the London underground is hugely popular with many advertisers and used by companies from all over the country, not just London based ones, in order to promote a wide range of products, brands and services.

London Underground advertising offers the potential to reach out to London's diverse potential of over 8 million people, as well as visitors from all corners of the UK, and indeed the whole world. With the tube network covering over 402km and serving 270 busy stations -  carrying a total of 4.8 million passengers a day - there is a multitude of advertising options.

With such mass reach, it's easy to see why underground advertising is so popular with businesses, ranging from small local start-ups to UK-wide and established international companies.

In this section, we will explain the many options and benefits of tube advertising and the cost factors. Alternatively for more information and free quotes, simply drop us a message and we will give you a call to chat through the options available.

We look forward to hearing from you.  

Most Underground campaigns have a recommended minimum spend of £5000 to have a successful impact but this depends on your aims. 

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What is London Underground Advertising?

It is basically out-of-home advertising using the infrastructure of the London underground system to promote services, brands and products.

As the capital of the United Kingdom, London not only has lots of residents but many business people visiting, as well as those on holidays from overseas, all making frequent passenger journeys across the city. This potential exposure to lots of different people makes London Underground advertising a profitable and popular investment for many businesses, targetting potential customers on platforms and escalators who have dwell time and time to take in marketing messages. 

London Underground advertising options are both varied and proven, and there are lots to consider for any advertiser and company when putting together a marketing campaign. It has certainly stood the test of time and has been around for over a hundred years, but as with the London Underground network itself, there are constantly both new stations and therefore new options to consider; London Underground advertising is like the capital itself, ever-evolving and exciting!

Tube Advertising Options - A Full Range of Options

They are a variety of options to consider when advertising on the London underground.

The main options to consider are listed below:

  • Escalator Panels (these are also known as London Escalator Panels or LEPS) – they are the posters that you see at the side of the escalator as you travel to and from the train stations and tube platforms. They are the most popular form of advertising on the tube. Traditionally they are printed on paper but there are also digital panels available in the bigger stations, which are impactful and effective. London Escalator Panels are an exceptionally popular form of advert as they are seen by people standing on the escalators – they, therefore, have a high impact on the majority of passengers. With lots of escalator panel ads on every line, it is important to think about your artwork – strong and clear messages work best especially as dwell time is short. With this type of London underground advertising, you can also select key stations to target, which can make the return on investment even better. 

  • Tube Tunnels Ads – these are much larger than LEPs and therefore have a greater impact. They are the large posters (large format) on the tube walls and are seen by people who are stood on platforms waiting for the trains to arrive. They are a favoured form of advertising with large brands and international advertisers. They are fantastic at building brand awareness and as passengers are often a few minutes on platforms, it means messages are properly absorbed and taken on board as dwell time can be considerable. Check out this video of tunnel advertising in action:

  • Large format posters on the station platforms - these are typically 4 sheets or 6 sheets in size and they hold the similar benefits of Tube Tunnel Ads (in that they target waiting passengers) but as they are smaller, they are cheaper. Advertisers and businesses tend to buy these in packages and have more than one poster. The benefit of this is that this form of advertising can be spread over different platforms, and also different stations, increasing your reach and impact with potential London underground users. For more information get in touch today. 

  • Walk-way branding – this form of advertising is rare with smaller business as it is expensive - but it’s popular for those with big budgets. Basically, there are options to brand whole walkways or take over all the posters sites in one section of the station. The benefit of this is your potential customers and tube users can’t escape it - both large format posters and good potential dwell time! You literally have to walk through the ad to get to your destination. They are often good for product launches or niche type events and become talking points with potential customers. A few years there was a famous “cat” take-over in Clapham North. It got everyone talking!

  • Adgate advertising – this is basically the gates that tube users have to put their ticket through, or where you present your bankcard or Oyster card as you enter the London Underground network. Again as every customer has to go through the barriers to travel, this type of ad gets a lot of attention and exposure. This form of advertising is a popular form of London underground advertising, it is also commonly teamed with advertising at other train stations, where commuters may be travelling into London from outer areas. 

  • Concourses/ticket area/entrances – as well as options in the walkways and on the escalators, simple poster sites in the concourses, are often popular, targeting people who are buying tickets, waiting for friends etc. There are various sizes of posters to choose from in these areas, for more info drop us a message. 

  • Inside the tube trains/tube coves (sometimes known as tube seat advertising or tube car panels)  – these are the small poster sites you see above the seats. They are often eye-catching and are seen by London underground users as they are travelling. As you can't use mobile phones (or usage is restricted) these are a popular and more affordable form of advertising than other options. Passengers often have little to do, or look at, when travelling so this is very effective and reaches every stop along each tube line!

  • Digital escalator panels - a form of LEP there are lots of new digital escalator panel options popping up, these are bright, colourful, animated and updated with new messaging. 

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How Much Does it Cost to Advertise on London Underground?

Costs of advertising on the London tube varies depending on a number of factors, these are briefly outlined below:

  1. The time of year - as with any form of outdoor advertising we always recommend that you book as far in advance as possible, especially if you are targetting key dates such as Christmas, Easter, Valentines, Mothers Day etc.  This will allow you to get the best rates and more importantly top underground sites.

  2. The type or format of the advert  - in general, the larger format posters are more costly than smaller posters.

  3. Which stations you want to advertise in - the more central and with greater daily footfall eg. Oxford Circus and Waterloo, are more expensive than those on the outskirts. Again it's worth thinking about your target market and if you specifically want to target certain parts or demographics of the capital.

  4. Length of the advertising campaign - the longer you want posters up, the more expensive, however, it is proven that longer campaigns have a better return on investment. Most tube advertising is a minimum of 2 weeks, whilst the majority of advertisers tend to do a month or more.  

To find out more info and for specific costs on London underground advertising (Transport for London Advertising) give us a bit of info about what you are looking to promote, budgets, timings and also any stations you are particularly interested in. We will work up a bespoke campaign for you to consider based on these factors. It is worth pointing out that Tube advertising, although expensive is very cost-effective as it achieves amazing results. 

What are the Benefits of London Underground Advertising?

There are many benefits to tube advertising as outlined above but at PromoMedia we would say the main ones are;

  • Massive exposure and a receptive advertising environment

  • Ability to target stations with key messaging

  • Potential to seen by people from all over the UK (and indeed the world) - not just people in London

  • Options to suit various budgets

  • Great at establishing and maintaining positive brand perceptions

If you have any more questions, simply get in touch with us today. 

Which Companies Advertise on The Underground?

Lots of major national and international companies advertise on the tube network every day as it is an effective way to reach a great audience; including car companies, supermarkets, clothes, fashion and luxury brands, whilst small local companies also choose stations to target people in their neighbourhood (such as local hairdressers, independent bars, cafes, gyms, restaurants etc.).

London underground advertising (TFL rail included) is, therefore, a popular choice with a wide range of companies and is more affordable than many imagine. If tube advertising is something you are interested in for your company we can provide you with costs and lots of suitable options to consider (including 4 sheets, 6 sheets, 48 sheets, tunnel advertising and LEPs.  

If adverts on the London Underground are of interest to you and your company contact us today for more specific information and find out about how tube advertising can work for your business on either a local London, national or even international level. Alternatively, if other forms of advertising are of interest, we can also advise and book TV advertising, outdoor advertising, radio and more, simply contact our media buyers today. 

Advertising on London Underground Summary

Underground advertising can initially seem an expensive form of outdoor advertising, however, when weighing up the positives and proven results it is clear why it is so popular with a whole range of businesses. It is a common misconception that tube advertising is only used by London based companies targeting tube users and a London audience but this is not the case, it's effective for international brands as well as local businesses in the locale of the stations.

As the London underground network is ever-growing it means that tube advertising is also often new and exciting too. London Underground gives value for money and great exposure to customers in London and the rest of the UK (with visitors travelling home), with new digital options, tunnel take-overs and more traditional poster advertising options. 

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If Underground advertising is something which you are interested in, get in touch today. We will then put together a bespoke campaign based on your aims, ambitions and budgets. You too can join the successful businesses who advertise on the London tube network every day. We look forward to hearing from you. 

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Other locations available for underground advertising
Berkshire Buckinghamshire West Dunbartonshire Cornwall Magherafelt Na h-Eileanan an Iar Gwynedd Carmarthenshire Dorset Flintshire