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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

TV Style ads on the Tube

Archibold Montgomery Lowe's dream comes true

In 1914 Professor Archibold Montgomery Lowe, writing for Trains, Omninbuses and Trams predicted the following for the Tube. "In 1999 every station will have comfortable waiting rooms, and with all the trains, the news of the moment and perhaps a picture of the moment thrown on artistically illuminated screens" Well he's not there with the comfortable waiting rooms, but his prediction the illuminated poster screens is looking like becoming a reality.

Picture of LCD screens at Tottenham Court Road by James Cridland

TfL reported yesterday that Oxford Circus, Bond Street, Victoria, Kings Cross, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations are likely to be among the first on the network to be installed with new digital advertising screens.

"The new technology is part of an investment programme by Viacom Outdoor and will involve more than 31,000 non-digital ad sites being replaced with new slim-line poster frames.

New Cross-Track Projection technology will see moving ads featured at 24 stations. Designed to create a gallery of advertising at ticket halls, passageways and station platforms, the screens will transform passenger journeys with fast-moving TV-style advertising."

There was a segment on the "You and Yours" programme on Radio 4 a few weeks ago about advertising on the Tube. They talked about the LCD screens that you've may have seen on the Tottenham Court Road escaltors (which actually make me feel a bit dizzy) and apparently those trials have been successful.

A regular commenter had kindly recorded a snippet of this and downloaded into an MP3 which can be found here.

As much as I like ads, I'm personally not sure I want to see TV ads on Tube and it's interesting that the guy from Viacom thinks these are a great because they "talk to you and entice the user to look and stay and watch". I don't think I would find any ad so compelling that I would want to stay around and miss my train to watch it. However he also says that the ad spaces can be used to provide news items or film updates from the Tube themselves. I'm assuming there will be no sound on these ads as you'd be driven mad otherwise.

What do you think? Will you find them more compelling? Do you think that advertisers are going to be flocking to spend money on them? What sort of ads do you think could work well on them - if any?

; Posted by Unknown Wednesday, August 02, 2006 Permalink COMMENT HERE