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These five businesses are fans of London Underground advertising

Business leaders with experience of London Underground advertising share their advice – touching on messaging, price and why it's possible to measure ROI.
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London Underground advertising

Audiences are proven to be more open to advertising while travelling

As marketing transitioned into an increasingly digital world, formats such as London Underground advertising remain an important medium for engaging with audiences in a physical out of home way.

From the ads commuters and travellers look at as they wait for a train on the platform, to the smaller impressions viewed as they journey through corridors and up escalators, research shows that consumers engage well in this environment.

London workers earn 53 per cent more than the national average per year, and 74 per cent of London Underground users are ABC1 – the highest three social grades. On top of that, over 50 per cent are aged 18-34 and 37 per cent are likely to be “opinion leaders and conversation catalysts”.

To see why businesses continue to spend money on this marketing format, Real Business quizzed five SMEs that have engaged with London Underground advertising. We asked each why this environment worked for their company, what has been learnt from the process and any advice for fellow business owners.

We also have a complimentary feature, looking at the partnership between Exterion Media and Transport for London. Find out how innovation will be key to providing small and medium-sized businesses with a wider range of advertising options in the future.

old-station-4Jimmy Cabral, vice president of creative at Campaign Monitor, explains why his business finds London Underground advertising worth the investment – the the extent that it booked a takeover of Old Street station.

(1) Why is advertising and marketing important for your business?

Awareness is important to our business. We want people to know who Campaign Monitor is. At the time of the advertising placement in the Old Street station, we had just announced our new European headquarters in London and it was important to us to really amplify the announcement with an integrated advertising campaign.

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Campaign Monitor had a clear message for visitors to Old Street

(2) Why did you choose to advertise on Transport for London?

Our media partners, Ways & Means, helped us understand that it was a fantastic opportunity to get our brand and our message in front of a huge audience. Old Street Station is near our new European headquarters and at the heart of many modern small businesses. We also peppered the campaign through many stations to gain additional reach and frequency.

(3) How did you pick the best format and message?

We felt that a transit takeover was the best opportunity to get attention with a large audience in our target market. Our creative, built from bright colours mixed with some fun writing and art-direction made this the right choice. It seemed to work from many of the comments we received offhand. People seemed to really love it.

(4) How does the cost compare to other advertising mediums?

For our need of making a huge splash, and for our budget, no other option compared.

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Commuters engage with platform ads for an average of three minutes

(5) How do you gauge the ROI?

We gauge ROI in two ways. Currently, we are doing a brand audit to understand how we increased our sales and aided awareness numbers. We have had a few great sales from the effort, and customers continue to anecdotally mention the Transit Takeover campaign.

(6) What is your advice for any other businesses considering advertising through TfL?

Make it bold. Make it immersive. Walk the space and imagine your campaign before you execute.

(7) What are the things to avoid when advertising on TfL?

Things can get dirty quickly.

Keep reading to see how one business grew its candidate base by 1.5m through London Underground advertising.

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About Author

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Real Business. He is also the editor of Business Advice, a title focused solely on a section of the business community currently underserved – micro companies. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative.

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