Insights into Formats for Advertising on the London Underground

Do you want to advertise on the London underground and turn as many of the people travelling on the transport system’s 4 million journeys per day into customers? As with all Out-of-Home, London underground advertising offers a variety of formats, shapes, and sizes. 

Different formats will have different effects and impacts on audiences when you are advertising on the Tube

The type of London underground media formats you choose will affect 

  • Impression delivery
  • Engagement rates
  • How consumers perceive your brand 
  • How memorable your advertisement is for audiences

Let’s take a look at the different formats for advertising on the London Underground and evaluate which are the most effective.

The Regulations for Advertising on the London Underground

First things first, there are certain rules that brands wanting to advertise on the London Underground must follow.

All advertisements on the London underground network must follow the UK Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) codes of practice. The guidelines state advertisements need to display honesty and decency and avoid causing harm or offence.

The packaging and labelling of products on posters, billboards and advertisements in tube cars must be accurate. Food and drink advertisements must stick to the health and safety guidelines and not promote an unhealthy lifestyle. 

There are even types of food and drink that are not allowed to be advertised on the network, such as alcohol, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes/vapes.

The Types of London Underground Advertising Formats

Escalator Advertisements on the London Underground

Placing advertisements on escalators at eye-level on the underground is a great way to reach passengers. The view from tube station escalators isn’t always the most aesthetically pleasing, hence panels and digital screens positioned correctly and advertising desirable products will create high visibility for underground station audiences.

London Underground Station Posters

Another format for advertising on the London underground is posters, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Posters, whether printed or backlit, are displayed to audiences in tube station corridors, on the platforms, and on cross-track billboards.

4 and 6 Sheet Posters 

4 and 6 sheets are the smallest tube station poster advertisements available. Nevertheless, both 4 and 6 sheets are still effective at attracting the attention of tube station audiences wandering the corridors. 

12 and 16 Sheet Posters

12 sheet posters are often found on platforms in landscape format, and 16 sheet posters are in portrait. 

Have a good think about what poster format works best for the campaign’s creative based on the messaging and imagery you plan to communicate. 

48 Sheet Posters 

London Underground passengers spend a fair amount of time staring into space. Place a 48-sheet cross-track poster in front of their eyes on the platform and your advertisement will be unmissable. When it is rush hour, the footfall will be higher on the platforms and there will be more eyeballs on your 48-sheet poster. 

96 Sheet Posters

96 sheet posters are the largest billboard format in underground stations. Not only will they attract the eyes of passengers waiting on the platform, but they will also be highly visible to passengers currently inside the tube cars. 

Tube Carriage Panels

Some passengers spend a fair chunk of their day travelling on the London underground. Make the most of the opportunity to advertise to this captive audience by placing ads on tube carriage panels. 

Ticket Gateways 

When entering or exiting a tube station, passengers always have to go through ticket gateways (or ‘barriers’). Ticket gateways are another format available for brands wanting to advertise to the London Underground’s vast audience.

Use Street-Level Transit Media to Complement Your London Underground Advertising

Why only advertise to those travelling underground when there are millions of pedestrians, shoppers, motorists, and cyclists to target above ground on the streets of London? 

On-vehicle advertising is the ideal complement to your London underground advertising efforts and a way to truly take your OOH campaigns in the capital to the next level. 

We now have the UK’s largest committed transit media fleet. With Drovo taxi advertising campaigns, not only will you be able to showcase your brand in busy London areas with our stylish full taxi wraps made from 100% recyclable materials, but you will also be able to fully track your campaigns using our proprietary live vehicle tracking dashboard.

Looking for more accountability and transparency over your street-level Out-of-Home campaigns? 

The Drovo dashboard provides you with accountability in abundance. Use the dashboard to narrow real-time data on impressions down to the hour or minute. 

The dashboard will also show you in-depth information about exactly where the taxi vehicles in your campaign travelled.

Drovo dashboard

Want granular data on the number of people who saw your ad in a specific road or borough of London? This valuable information will be available to you on the dashboard. 

Drovo taxi campaign

Get in contact with Drovo

Striving to make a genuine impact on OOH audiences? Taxi advertising campaigns with Drovo are the solution.

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London Underground Advertising and On-Street Transit Media Are Ideal for Targeting High Earners

Underground and on-street taxi advertising is the perfect combination for targeting London audiences. Soon after tube passengers leave the station and go above ground, they will see your taxi advertisements on the road.

And, a large number of commuters using the tube regularly for work in London are high earners. For example, the median yearly salary in the city of London area in 2023 was £96,200, compared to the UK median salary of £34,963 during the same period. 

Leverage both London underground and taxi advertising to target high-income earners. Think about what high-income earners are interested in, e.g. high-end luxury products such as watches, jewellery, perfume, aftershave, clothing, suits, or holiday destination advertisements.

The Advantages of Taxi Advertising Over Bus Advertising in London

Bus advertising is another form of transit media available in the capital. But there are clear benefits of choosing to complement your London underground advertising with taxi campaigns, instead of bus advertising. 

The benefits of taxi advertising in the capital include: 

  • The ability to closely monitor taxi campaigns in real time with the Drovo dashboard
  • Broader coverage gives your brand visibility in hard-to-reach areas of London.
  • Taxis inherently spend time in the most densely populated areas of London. They go where the people go.

Here is an eye-catching taxi campaign we ran in London for Malone Souliers.

We hope you enjoyed our insights into the different formats available for advertising on the London underground.

Drovo taxi campaign with Formula E in front of London eye

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