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Thursday, October 02, 2008

King's Cross Tube getting film ads

Looks like I'll soon be able to watch some trailers for films and endless ads for Orange phones while I'm waiting for my Northern Line train at King's Cross.

Film Ads Coming to King's Cross Tube

There's always a sure sign that London Underground cross platform advertising is coming to your station, when you notice there have been a number of weeks with really old ads, then that papier mache / collage / Tate Gallery exhibit style mess of old ads.

Adless Leicester Square Tube

Then you usually get the grey panels seen in the first picture which I noticed at King's Cross yesterday, which herald the coming of the cross platform ads or Cross Track Projection or XTP as CBS Outdoor - the company responsible for the ads on the Tube - call it.

It's funny that it's actually taken us this long to get moving ads on the Tube. I always remember a great quote from a guy from the early 20th century, who had predictions for what the London Underground would be like in 1999.

Professor Archibald Montgomery Low (top name) wrote for the transport magazine Trains, Omnibuses and Trams in 1914 and was pretty good with some of his sooth-saying.

He predicted 100mph trains, mobile phones, solar energy, Eurostar and the Travelcard ... and an end to spitting on the Tube! But we're only just catching up with some of his stuff. He wrote:

"In 1999 every station will have comfortable waiting-rooms, with all the trains, the news of the moment - and perhaps the picture of the moment - thrown upon artistically illuminated screens".

Well that's our XTP - except we haven't got news or pictures of the moment but trailers for Pixar films & ads for mobile phone companies.

He also believed that Londoners in 1999 would be more polite. However a Tube worker replied to him in the magazine:

"Will the Underground passengers of 1999 try to enter the stations by the exits, ignore the notice to stand aside on escalators?"

Forget 1999, that's still happening now.


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