New Digital OOH Screens On London Tube Seem To Miss Creative Opportunity

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 theย  format?

Right now, it’s just a series of 16:9-shape ads all rammed together in rows. Yawn.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 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.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

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Dave Haynes

1 thought on “New Digital OOH Screens On London Tube Seem To Miss Creative Opportunity

  1. for what I can see on that pic, they are still using the same concept, groups of 5 panels with 1 design in each.
    Thus a repeat of 5 creatives going down (and hopefully) 5 going up.
    We also used what we called a holding file, so if there were 41 panels, 1 will be out the group of 5… which would then play the holding file. But I dont think they are using it here, cause the last two panels are repeating 2 creatives.

    The tricky part is not that, is to assign 5 creatives to each group of 5 going down/up between a specific hour, another 5 to the second hour…so on and so forth, keeping them all in synch and doing it all from 1 single booking, otherwise auditing will be messy.

    But again, if they were going to do the same thing we did, why change? right?
    I am sure the current guys can handle that and much more… after all, its been almost 13 years since we did it.

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