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
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