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Summer 2003

Summer 2003

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Summer 2003

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  1. Consumer engagement with Underground advertising Prepared for London Underground Limited Summer 2003

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Hall & Partners “Framework” approach explains the different ways communication works to build brand relationships

  6. An overview of the London Underground travellers

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. General perceptions of advertising on the London Underground

  10. 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

  11. Response to current advertising formats / displays on the London Underground

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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)

  24. 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’

  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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)

  32. Response to newer advertising initiatives on the London Underground

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. 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)

  36. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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

  39. 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

  40. Perceptions of sponsorship

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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

  45. 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

  46. Exploring expectations of advertising on the London Underground in the future

  47. 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

  48. Conclusions and Recommendations

  49. 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

  50. 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