Tube advertising has many advantages. The London Underground comfortably attracts 1 million daily passengers onto it’s network. London Underground advertising runs through all 270 stations, all across the city. It’s an incredible way of reaching the Capital’s influential commuters. Not to mention, the thousands of other travellers who navigate London each day.

Advertising opportunities on the tube are numerous. It’s a really popular choice for emerging brands and digital startups. They are able to leverage relatively low investment and substantial customer volume. Londoners also tend to be among the most tech-savvy in the country meaning they are likely to be early adopters of new products. As they are also socially influential, this helps to spread brand messages far and wide.

London Underground Advertising Opportunities

There are lots of advertising opportunities across the London Underground network. Most are highly visual installations. Others are less prevalent but no less effective supporting your brand message. The Bank think London Underground advertising is a fantastic opportunity for most brands. We’ve succeeded launching campaigns for new and established brands, both from within and outside of the capital. So let’s dive in and see what might be right for you.

Track-side billboards are 6-sheet and 48-sheet style billboard posters. They line the tracks at most tube stations. They are highly visible for waiting passengers before and after the arrival of trains.

Walkway advertising posters are also 6-sheet sized. These London Underground advertising posters are positioned in prominent locations throughout station walkways. They also appear on the platforms. Increasingly these are digital poster positions allowing for some breathtaking creative.

Ticket gate advertising are vinyl wraps which bedeck the access gates. Ticket-gate takeovers are available in most locations and are usually temporary. They are most effective at main stations where every passenger must pass through. They are great for event marketing like retail promotions or product releases.

Carriage cards adorn the carriages. They sit at the eye line of standing commuters and above the heads of those who are seated. People here are a captive audience, so this creative is extremely powerful. Add to that, the London Underground map intersperses these adverts. This forces the adverts further into passenger focus.

Escalator panels are one of the more striking advertising opportunities on the London Underground. Escalator panels can be printed or digital, depending on the station. Flanking the escalator wells, it’s a chance to convey messages to a captive audience.

These London Underground advertising opportunities are only the visual ones. There are many other opportunities which brands can take advantage of.

Digital or Physical Advertising

The tube has been going through a makeover. While most stations continue to show their age, behind the scenes a new infrastructure is in place. This includes, the provision of free WIFI and mobile connectivity while deep under the city. This supports a new dimension in media planning and digital crossover.

It’s now possible to understand where connected devices enter and leave the London Underground network. By mapping journey start and end points with customer demographics, brands can support make better media buying decisions. For example, brands can establish where travellers who match their customer profile are starting their journey’s. They can then “see” their journey’s through connecting Underground lines. Then we can see where a prospects journey terminated. This means you can plan visual media across the London Underground network, basing decisions on where your target market is most likely to see your message. It works!

Due to the large digital footprint of passengers, who are connecting to the London Underground network, you can target these consumers with digital advertising. For brands running campaigns on the tube, this compliments the London Underground advertising by reinforcing messages via other online platforms. Where people may have connected with your brand visually, this can be reinforced with targeted copy and visuals delivered digitally. Relatively low cost, it’s complimentary to the tube activity and improves impact. It also naturally encourages sharing, particularly when delivery is via Facebook or other paid social advertising.

We love TV here at The Bank. I don’t mean cozying up with the family in front of trash TV on Saturday night; I mean the effect that TV advertising can have on brand performance. But maybe that’s the point, with no other media can advertising be part of the event. Or, if you’re John Lewis – main event. TV advertising conjures fond memories of brands – as quality family time does. Put simply, we can all recall a TV ad past and present. You can’t say the same for any other advertising channels.

Advantages of TV Advertising

Thinking about the evolution of TV in the last two decades, its become substantially more fragmented. There’s now a multitude of channels vying for your attention. Add in consumption changes like video on demand and you’d think it was to television’s detriment. It’s quite the opposite. 

While there may be hundreds of channels across the listings, most still hold a huge viewership. Even the smallest channels obtain hundreds of thousands of viewers – and that’s those watching live. This type of audience can be hard to achieve via most other mediums. Due to the volume, it offers a low cost per viewer.

As TV channels are more fragmented, they tend to target demographic niches. This ranges from age, gender and family life cycle skews. It allows you to target TV advertising at certain types of consumer much more easily than you could have 30 years ago, with far less channels. Yes the volumes are lower, but there’s a lot less wastage if you’re targeting a product with a fairly specific target market.

Technology developments like on demand video from ITV, Channel 4, Five and Sky give increased opportunities for brands. They are highly economical mediums, providing a level of intelligence on who is watching your ads. TV advertising is increasingly built like an online model where you are charged when you get the views on your ads. This allows marketers to create threaded campaigns which can dominate programme consumption, no matter the whether its being watched on smart TVs or other screens.

Disadvantages of TV ads

The main drawback of TV advertising is cost. Upfront it can be quite an expensive investment for a business, particularly if its never done it before. Secondly, you’ll need creative which is much more challenging – and expensive – to create. If these barriers are holding you back from advertising on television, you should shift your thinking.

We’ve already mentioned cost of TV.. Yes the bill won’t be cheap, you should prepare for an absolute minimum of five figures to launch a successful TV ad campaign. Often it can cost a lot more, depending on your needs. That being said you will be reaching hundreds of thousands, if not millions of individuals with your investment. Per opportunity to see, you’ll be paying pennies per prospective customer and in many ways, no other media can come close.

As for creative, yes producing a TV advertisement can be expensive, but there are a number of techniques to make this more cost effective. Animation for example, can dramatically lower cost and time to produce. Producing banks of assets can also offer substantial cost reduction; by maximising film crew, animator, voice artist or audio recording time during their sessions. So think about the shared need of online, social feeds, your own website and video platforms like YouTube.

The Bank are experts in TV advertising and help businesses maximise their investment creatively by identifying all channel assets and creating a suite of brand assets that can last the initial campaign, and create a series of complimentary content to act as continuation pieces across channels. So, still think TV is out of your reach? Think again and grasp this brilliant media with both hands.

Radio advertising is among the most memorable styles of advertising a brand can utilise. It has a subliminal quality, weaving brand messages through a consumers day. Be that car journeys, commutes or while at work, radio forms a large part of the day. In fact, ask people if they listen to radio and they’ll say no. Yet those same people will be able to recall a radio advert or jingle successfully.

Like with TV, the world of radio advertising has changed considerably. There are many more stations, especially with the advent of DAB and streaming stations. Each is targeted at a particular niche audience, by musical taste or listener age. There are also broadcasts aimed at a certain skew: female centric pop and R&B stations versus sports focused, talk radio. At each end of the spectrum, stations centre on a very particular audience. This allows brands to target effectively on what used to be an entirely mass medium.

Benefits of radio advertising

Local and regional based radio stations have always been particular strong points of the radio advertising industry. While the broadcast methods may have changed, with substantially more syndicated national shows. The main commercial UK radio brands have retained a strong regional focus allowing for particular audiences to be targeted. This regional approach also allows very specific creative to be utilised, really supporting a local share of voice. This is not otherwise replicated in traditional media, aside from in outdoor advertising.

Radio has been a really adaptable media in the last few years, introducing digital options in response to competition from streaming services. Firms like Spotify, Amazon and Apple have changed audience consumption patterns substantially. Radio has changed to a streaming model in line with that demand. You’re now far more likely to experience radio digitally than ever before, including in your car, which opens a huge amount of targeting and intelligence for brands advertising on radio.

Radio can also be a tactical medium. Like digital OOH advertising you can have audio assets on air within a few hours, often faster. This gives the potential to be really responsive to events as they happen. It may be hard to conjure ideas here, but imagine taking a retail sale to deeper levels for particular stores based on regional trends. Or targeting a football audience based on the earlier fixtures that day. This type of fragmented personalisation in near real time is almost exclusive to radio. It does require a fair bit of planning to execute well.

Making a success of radio ads

Unlike TV, its harder to skip radio ads, but that doesn’t mean people won’t try. They leave the room to do something else. Like TV creative, cut through is achieved with the right assets at work. Audio idents and great scripting become essential. As does the music, where there are two main options.

The first, licensed music is where you license an existing track for use in your radio advertising. Typically this means paying the composer and publisher an agreed fee for its use. It often involves re-recording it so it’s more suitable for your brand.

The second is to use an original composition. This type of “jingle” will be an auditory ident for your brand and often this can be used for years to come. While any brand approaching a radio station direct will usually be offered some production by them, there is a lot more that goes into radio advertising than simply getting your message on air.

Planning your audio messaging for longer than a simple campaign is important. Preparation for multiple media, including social, podcasts and video advertising can save you time and money. Anticipating future radio bursts will also make the cost of production substantially cheaper.

For most brands the lack of long term thinking can get in the way of making audio or streaming a huge success. At The Bank we know how to make radio advertising work. In doing so, we anticipate the ongoing requirements of audio creation. Radio ads really help achieve a low cost, be everywhere technique that brands really benefit from. Radio should form a huge part of your campaign planning. To make a success of radio and online streaming, get in touch with The Bank. Our specialists will help to make it a reality.

Out of home advertising – or OOH advertising- has the most apt acronym in the world of media. This is because, done right, it really can put the ooh into advertising campaigns.

Out of home is any brand communication delivered away from the house. Typically this can be via outdoor media on roadsides, transport networks and within destinations. Examples of this include, shopping malls, retail centres and sports venues. Here we are talking about high impact, big format media that needs big ideas to be done right.

Out of home advertising in the great outdoors

There are a numerous types of outdoor advertising options to get to grips with. The obvious, like billboard advertising, bus advertising and bus stop advertising tend to be highly visible no matter what roads you travel each day. Extending the transport network theme, tube advertising in the London market and rail station advertising mean that out of home media is hugely visible for the duration of most commuters journeys. This means that brands have huge choice on where to invest their advertising budget.

Format wise, it couldn’t be more different. For instance, 48 sheets are the size which dominates billboard advertising. Whereas it is 6 sheet advertising that is the reserve of bus stops, on street furniture like phone kiosks and prime sites around retail parks. On the public transport networks there are a variety of sizes you’ll be familiar with across bus rears, bus street liners (sides) and above passenger “talkers”. These formats are very much the reserve of bus and tube media opportunities.

Location specific OOH advertising

The rest of out of home advertising options tend to be place based. Locations such as shopping malls and retail centres have a lot of media real estate for sale. This can include, car park locations, fronts of trolleys, vinyls on elevator doors, escalator panels and much more. Additional channels like cinema advertising add to the mix of OOH advertising choices. Plus there’s a wide range of media within gyms, hotels, resorts and various other leisure and mix-use retail environments.

Where outdoor media does tends to be a broad targeting media, location based OOH advertising increasingly allows for much more targeting. This can be performed in numerous ways. It can be based on affinity activities of your target audience. For example, shoppers and those spending disposable income at evenings and weekends. While they’re in the buying mood, out of home advertising can be a great way to convey your brand message with a high degree of impact. Or, targeting can be based off the movement of digital devices. This emerging trend is one which brands should embrace.

The main benefits of in home advertising – such as the targeting ability of digital advertising – is making its way into the world of OOH. As digital panels are becoming much more common, even in smaller towns and cities, they allow for substantial programmatic advertising. The media is agile, unlike the commonplace “2 week” bursts of traditional media. As such, media buys can be in bursts as narrow as the time of day, for just a few days or for very specific event based periods.

Numerous platforms exist to harmonise the targeting you do in digital, by automating the purchase of out of home in line with the physical trends of those people. Typical journeys can be mapped and bought with an unparalleled focus on how your target market are behaving. It’s even possible to change dynamically based on those behaviours.

The Bank believe in Out of Home Advertising. Undoubtedly appealing, it can be a complicated and daunting place for your brand to be. Creative production involves many, varying sizes and media applications. Creative management is needed to ensure the correct message gets to the right media partner – at the right time. Notwithstanding the challenge of converting your brand message so it’s absolutely ready for this media opportunity. Large format shouldn’t mean complicated; and smaller pieces of OOH doesn’t mean reserved. Let The Bank show you what out of home can be doing for you; and what we can be doing for your brand based on our years of experience.

Digital design is the appearance of your brand across any websites, apps and social feeds. It is such a vital part today’s marketing journey that it cannot and must not be ignored. 

As with any brand touchpoint, digital design determines how people feel about your brand: trust, warmth, credibility and desire are just some of the triggers it can elicit. Yet digital design is so often forgotten about, prioritising functionality and convenience over aesthethics.

Do I need a digital design audit?

We recommend a digital design audit whenever a clients says that their website feels tired or doesn’t quite hang right. Or worse, they’ve identified a general slow down in conversions and sales. Many clients who come to The Bank have shared issues here. Generally the trend includes the following issues –

Their website hasn’t been designed by designers. Building a website is quite different to creating a digital design. They are two separate disciplines. Designing for digital includes paying attention to the user journey. Part of this involves mastering the ultimate dark art: human behaviour. Which call to action should we use? How do we make it stand out best? What deserves greater prominence on the page? Using size, balance, colour and imagery we create stand out designs for the users, while complimenting your overall brand identity. This is often a real creative challenge that the more functional developer simply isn’t equipped for.

The website or app is so 2019. In digital a lot changes fast. Trends come and go very quickly and what looks great today, is tomorrow’s old hat. That cool video parallex effect which was built into into your site last year? It is now an on page distraction that slows your site down. The pastel colour pallet which was really on trend? Now it’s stale and flat, where your competitors feel fresh. By focusing on classic layouts and structure, we can use colour accents, fonts and image style to distinguish your web property. These are proven techniques that serve some of the biggest brands in the world. You can strip away trend and still have digital design that everyone loves but stands the test of time.

Let insight led digital design

Marketers make subjective decisions about design based on nothing but personal preference. Since it is quite rare for you to be exactly the same demographic as your target audience, how can you guarantee that’s a good choice? You are probably older, or younger if you’re lucky, than the target audience. You may earn more or less than your average customer. You’ll definitely have different tastes and you should get to grips with what your audience actually think.

There is a science to customer behaviour and how it links to design. You probably execute techniques like split testing regularly with things like email marketing – often an out of the box offering with most software packages. If this is the case, why not with your website? It’s great that you’re building best practice with your brand in one area – but the same logic can easily exist throughout the rest of your digital marketing creative. At The Bank we actively test which website design will work best – prior to any code being touched. Extending this, we apply similar logic to display advertising and social advert creative. Which design will a customer click? What will a live user do when they land on your website? Will they convert and if not, why not? 

Is it really your design?

A lot of the time digital design is at the mercy of the platform owner. There are two masters here – firstly the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Here your creative is forced into certain parameters by the social network itself. You don’t have the liberty of changing the rules for these platforms but you do have the ability to be creative and generate digital content assets that maximise those platforms. When thought about at the outset, as part of a wider creative plan, you can really extract superb assets that maximise the 3rd party network.

Second are Google, who at will, can change their search engine performance parameters to hurt your website. This is done to fit their SEO best practice. In recent years slower websites have been penalised in favour of lightening fast load times, particularly on mobile devices. Remember that parallax video? Bye bye search rankings. App owners and developers have similar struggles with Apple whose own algorithms change frequently to optimise the device experience. Again there are timeless aspects that can really benefit the digital design process for longevity while retaining stunning visuals!

The Bank help brands plan their digital visuals in their entirety. We don’t quite don the lab coats, but we do scrutinise – with actual customers – elements of your brand which are really resonating and those that aren’t to make sensible changes. Given most people have established websites, digital design tends to be focused on website redesign and redevelopment presently for clients. Making sure you don’t throw out the good is extremely important as part of that process. While we love your opinion (who doesn’t?) we’d rather provide you with facts, rather than blind subjectivity guiding you – or us – to the creative decisions with most merit. If you’d like to understand what this looks like for your current digital platforms, give us a call and we’ll get the bunsen burners out.

Billboard advertising boards are an out of home advertising media. There are thousands of sites across the UK owned by some of the largest outdoor advertising companies like JC Decaux, Global and Clear Channel. A huge number of independent advertising posters are also available. These advertising boards give brands huge impact because of their super sized dimensions. At between 48 and 96 sheet size – the latter is a huge 12 metres wide! Increasingly this type of outdoor media can be bought both as traditional advertising posters and as digital.

Advantages of billboard advertising

These billboard advertising boards have strong regional and national coverage. Striking large outdoor media sites like this are found across most regions of the country. They are typically based roadside on urban commuter routes and will often be found side by side creating walls of advertising opportunity. Increasingly they are also available in town centres and large hubs that attract a lot of people. Shopping centres, airports and train stations now carry billboard advertising format which is great way to quickly reach lots of people.

Another advantage is their size. Large outdoor billboard advertising boards run between 6 and 12 metres wide. In some cases even larger formats exist although these tend to be unique to very large cities. They are huge spots that make for wonderful, high impact creative. As they’re full colour and mostly illuminated, it’s a superb showcase for brands and products. Tending to be high up and hard to reach means that they’re less likely to get vandalised than street level advertising furniture, preserving the quality of your message. While traditional advertising boards must be bought in specific “posting” blocks because of the specialist fitting, digital billboard advertising is very agile. Digital advertising boards allow flexible booking and quick creative activation.

Billboard advertising prices

Outdoor advertising board pricing is different based on their location and the number of “opportunities to see”. That last metric translates as, how many eyeballs will be seeing it. Typically media owners base this footfall – pedestrians or number of vehicles – passing an advertising board location. The greater the number, the higher the price.

In basic terms, billboard advertising costs between £300 and £600 per week, per advertising board. Large outdoor billboards usually require at least a 2 week commitment, based on the fitting demands. Of course these billboard advertising costs don’t take into account bulk buying and agency discounts. These are obtainable through proper media planning via an accredited agency like The Bank, who buy for several clients across the media inventory owners.

Advertising board creative

To get the most impact from billboard advertising, good creative is essential. Yes the canvas is huge, but the average length of time a user has to consume your message is tiny. Surprisingly, less components on the creative assets are better. The biggest mistake is to fill this huge canvas with lots of wording or instruction. Often it makes messages barely legible when consumed from so far away. Instead go for highly impactful photography, typefaces and simple calls to action that are easily memorable. For the ultimate acid test, viewing your creative on screen from at least 12 feet away will give you an accurate impression of the final result.

Of course The Bank, as a creative agency, are fully accustomed to solving these creative challenges. We handle outdoor advertising design and production on a regular basis. It usually forms part of the creative toolkit when we develop campaigns, ensuring the assets will work at the largest formats. We create the type aspirational design that works brilliantly on billboards, allowing for easy consumption. We’re also frequently working on digital versions now, with brilliant colouring and subtle animation to maximise the medium.

Billboard advertising sizes

The two most common billboard sizes are 48 sheet and 96 sheet, the difference being the width. The name refers to the physical number of paper “sheets” it requires to fill the space. The printing process involves splitting the bigger image across smaller spec posters which are all 20″ x 30″. Therefore –

While we’re delighted if creatives have made it here to support your design work, you should note that outdoor media owners have slightly different specifications around artwork sizing, provision and formatting. You should take care to follow the guides before assuming dimensions to be correct.

The Bank handle all aspects of creative design, production artwork (getting the right messages to the right places) and media planning for all sorts of advertising and media – including billboard advertising. To discuss your needs, give us a call.