How to Connect with Audiences When Advertising on the Tube

When the London Underground opened between Paddington and Farringdon back in 1863, it was a revelation – the very first underground railway in the world. In 2024, the tube is used by anyone and everyone in London, including local residents, commuters, and tourists visiting the capital. 

According to the TFL, the Tube network sees up to five million passenger journeys a day, and at peak times, there are more than 543 underground trains in circulation in and around London.

This huge audience means many advertisers and brands may look to increase their reach, audience engagement, and impact by advertising on the tube. 

At Drovo, we have the largest street-level audience in the UK and our taxi wraps and on-vehicle digital screens move along with with your audiences. This means our transit media advertising campaigns on taxis, cars, and vans are dynamic.

Advertisements on the London Underground first appeared in the early 20th century. But is it effective at making an impact on audiences? Here we go deeper into how to connect with audiences via tube advertising.

Formats for Advertising on the Tube

Tube advertisements can be displayed on digital advertising screens or billboard posters on platforms, concourses, or escalator walls at underground stations. Alternatively, tube advertising can refer to advertisements found in the carriages of underground trains themselves. 

Deciding on the format for your tube advertisements will have a knock-on impact on how audiences react to them. You want to go for a format that is highly visible, eyecatching and captures the attention of busy tube passengers. 

Pros of Tube Advertising

There are many different types of Out-of-Home advertising, including

Here we address the pros of tube advertising.

Increase Your Reach and Brand Awareness By Tube Advertising

You may not have connected with your target audience properly yet and they may still be relatively unaware of your brand and products/services. You can use OOH tube advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness in the capital.

The reach of your OOH campaigns and brand awareness amongst audiences are directly linked. One benefit of advertising on the tube is that tube advertisements will always enjoy high reach levels.

Use Drovo’s on-vehicle campaigns in London to complement and add your reach on the underground.

Our carbon-neutral on-vehicle campaigns use geotargeting, which means that you can plan to implement certain advertisements that will raise your brand awareness in specific neighbourhoods of London. Our vehicles venture down all the backstreets and nooks and crannies that bus routes do not cover.

On top of that, the shadowfencing technology available in Drovo on-vehicle campaigns delivers complimentary display ads straight to the mobile devices of those passing within 200 metres of the branded vehicle. This helps to continue the advertising brand messaging conversation.

Want to also hit your audiences with mobile ads in your transit media campaigns? That is exactly what you get when you add the shadowfencing feature to your taxi advertising campaigns with Drovo.

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

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Connect with an Audience with Fewer distractions

We all get a little occupied these days by our phones, the internet, and stimuli from digital devices. However, there’s not much to look at and do in dark underground tube stations. Shrewd tube advertisements therefore have the potential to capture the attention of audiences with fewer distractions.

Tube Stations and Carriages Are Iconic Locations for OOH Ad Placements

London Underground stations and the trains themselves are iconic, hence why many tourists want to soak in the experience of travelling on the famous underground network. Advertising on the tube is therefore an ideal way to make your brand and products memorable to audiences.

A good example of a tube advertising campaign that connected with audiences (despite being fake and using CGI-augmented technology) and got everyone talking was the 2023 Maybelline mascara ad.

The Drawbacks of Tube Advertising

Of course, there are also downsides and drawbacks of advertising on the tube, here we explore them further.

Tube Advertising Is Overly Generic

A drawback of focusing on advertising on the tube is that is overly generic and unable to carry out granular targeting, which will prove disappointing if you want to have an impact on a specific smaller audience group. 

With Drovo’s on-vehicle digital screen campaigns, the granular targeting of your campaigns for specific audience groups in small geographic areas is nice and simple. 

After hyper targeted Digital OOH ads that help you connect with a demographic group in a particular neighbourhood/s of London? Our specialist on-vehicle campaign team have you covered.

The Inability to Monitor and Measure Tube Advertising Campaigns

Advertisers and brands will understandably want to be able to track and monitor the progression and effectiveness of OOH advertising campaigns. Unfortunately, another shortcoming of advertising on the tube is the lack of data available to allow you to monitor the performance and progression of campaigns. 

Thankfully, here at Drovo, we have a live vehicle tracking dashboard for campaigns which uses the latest technology to provide you with key real time data, such as total audience impression delivery and miles driven. Since we track campaigns, you get full transparency when monitoring the progress of your taxi campaigns with us.

Difficulty of Setting Up a Tube Advertising Campaign  

Setting up a tube advertisement campaign can be a longwinded process that involves jumping through a lot of hoops.

Firstly, there is one sole company with the approved TfL contract to manage all advertising campaigns on the underground.

Secondly, you will have to ensure it meets the TfL advertising policy for the required standard for approval of advertisements on the underground network. 

At Drovo, we provide you with the option to buy ads programmatically, meaning you can set up digital screen campaigns on our vehicles in minutes and enjoy much shorter lead times.

Missing Out on Connecting with Street-Level Audiences 

There is massive reach available through street-level advertising in London. Opting for advertising on the tube over street-level campaigns will mean you missing out on your OOH ads reaching and connecting with shoppers, pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, people on the way to and from work, and more. 

When you decide to go for efficient on-vehicle campaigns at Drovo, you tap into London’s street-level audiences.

We hope you now understand more about how to connect with audiences when advertising on the tube. 

Interested in taxi advertising campaigns with Drovo?

Since you’ve got to the end of the blog, let’s have a chat about taxi campaigns

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