CAMPAIGN DIARY: I’M ONLY A PUNTER BUT

Why is advertising on the tube so shockingly bad? With more than 270 stations (that’s how boring it is, I’ve had time to count them all) and an almost inexhaustible number of options (cross-track, escalators, light boxes, whole platforms, pillars, rafters, bins, floors, tickets ... the list goes on) not to mention the fact that this is all free to the potential consumers themselves, why is it all so bland? This is particularly the case with the advertising in the carriages themselves where, let’s face it, the average commuter will spend most of their time (hang on, this is turning into a two-in-one rant).

Why is advertising on the tube so shockingly bad? With more than

270 stations (that’s how boring it is, I’ve had time to count them all)

and an almost inexhaustible number of options (cross-track, escalators,

light boxes, whole platforms, pillars, rafters, bins, floors,

tickets ... the list goes on) not to mention the fact that this is all

free to the potential consumers themselves, why is it all so bland? This

is particularly the case with the advertising in the carriages

themselves where, let’s face it, the average commuter will spend most of

their time (hang on, this is turning into a two-in-one rant).



If you are unfortunate enough to forget your paper/mag/novel or

whatever ... you’ve had it. Your options are: a) re-read the tube map

and desperately count down the stops to your own b) stare at the person

opposite - which, let’s face it, never really goes down well in this

city or c) send yourself off for 40 winks by reading the ads at the risk

of missing your stop and having to repeat the ordeal!



I am willing to concede that there have been some good campaigns. One

that instantly springs to mind was Elida Faberge’s use of carriage strap

hangers to promote Vaseline Intensive Care deodorant, back in June. This

played brilliantly on commuters’ fears of exposing their sweaty armpits

to the rest of the carriage, and it was fun to watch people take a

sneaky sniff, just in case. I’m sure it resulted in hordes of

considerate travellers leaving the train in a mad rush for the nearest

Boots.



But why so much other rubbish? What have the general public done to

deserve such harsh treatment by the admen? Or is this because the latter

are too loaded to be travelling on the tube and don’t realise just how

dire things have become?



And why can’t we have more of the innovation shown at stations such as

Southfields during Wimbledon fortnight when tennis balls were seen

hurtling up and down the platforms adorned with fabulous, over-sized

pictures of studs such as Andre Agassi?



I believe I actually lingered on my way home the first evening I saw

that spectacle.



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