The media people have to sell it, and the content creatives have to develop it. Which is maybe why the new digital screens in the escalator wells of London’s famed subway system seem to be missing an opportunity.
The old display panels were replications of posters that stair-stepped up and down the escalator side walls, with gaps between each. At least some of the time, the creative was designed to work in sequences across all the displays, so (for example) content would travel up or down with riders.
The new screens in King’s Cross station, where a reader shot these pix, are joined together in an angular, tiled video wall that runs the length of the escalators, on the wall just beyond the handrail. All of the content I have seen in images and video, so far, just assign creative to individual screens and don’t play with the ribbon shape, at all.
It’s weird, because ribbon-based content is really common at countless pro football (soccer) stadiums in the UK, on the sideline LED boards. So it is not like this is a foreign design concept.
That said, the media sales people have to get brands and planners understanding the use of that shape in the Tube, and they have to assign more budget to get creative built to that shape. Maybe they’re waiting for most or all stations to convert to the format?
Right now, it’s just a series of 16:9-shape ads all rammed together in rows. Yawn.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.