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 and the very first underground railway in the world. In 2024, the tube is used by anyone and everyone in London at all times, including local residents, commuters, and tourists visiting the capital. 

According to the TFL, the Tube welcomes up to five million passenger journeys a day, and at peak times, there are more than 543 underground trains in circulation around London. So, this huge audience means many advertisers and brands looking to increase the reach, audience engagement, and impact of their OOH campaigns by advertising on the tube. 

At Drovo Media, we have the largest street-level audience in the UK and our taxi wraps and on-vehicle digital screens move with your audience. This means our OOH transit media campaigns on taxis, cars, and vans are dynamic and aren’t limited to underground stations and trains! 

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 when advertising on the tube.

Formats for Advertising on the Tube

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

Deciding on the format and where you want your tube advertisements to be displayed will have a big knock-on impact on how audiences react to them. You want to go for a format that is easily visible, eye-catching and ultimately captures the attention of busy London tube passengers. 

Pros of Advertising on the Tube

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

These all have their pros and cons, but now let’s discuss the benefits of advertising on the tube. 

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 look to use OOH tube advertising campaigns to increase your brand awareness.

The reach of your OOH campaigns and brand awareness amongst OOH audiences are directly linked. One benefit of advertising on the tube is that tube advertisements will always boast high reach levels. Looking to increase your reach and brand awareness, the tube has five million daily passengers for you to tap into. 

With Drovo’s on-vehicle campaigns on London streets, your reach levels and impressions will be even higher than 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 don’t cover.

On top of that, the shadowfencing technology feature we have developed at Drovo delivers a complementary display ad straight to a consumer’s device as the branded vehicle passes by in immediate proximity, thus continuing the conversation onto consumers’ mobile devices and apps while they browse. 

Want to hit your Out-of-Home audiences with additional mobile ads? 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 are all so distracted these days by our phones, the internet, and constant stimuli. However, there’s not much to look at and admire at dark underground tube stations. Shrewd tube advertisements therefore have the potential to captivate the attention of this audience and benefit from access to an audience with fewer distractions. 

Tube Stations and Trains Are Iconic Locations for OOH Ads

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 Advertising on the Tube

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

Tube Advertising Is Generic and Not Highly Targeted

A drawback of focusing on advertising on the tube is that they are 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, the granular targeting of your campaigns for specific audience groups in small geographic areas is nice and simple. 

After hyper targeted Out-of-Home 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 the Performance of Tube Advertisement 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 created a live vehicle tracking dashboard for our campaigns which uses the latest technology to provide you with key real time data, such as on-street impressions and miles driven. Since we track campaigns in this way, you get full transparency when monitoring the progress of your Out-of-Home taxi campaigns with us.

Difficulty of Setting Up a Tube Ad 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. 

With Drovo’s programmatic advertising technology, you can set up digital screen campaigns on our vehicles in minutes and remove all the set up time delays.

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?

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