Viacom launches digital escalator posters on the Tube

MUMBAI: In a first of its kind initiative, US outdoor agency Viacom Outdoor is launching digital escalator posters on the London Underground in the UK. The company sells ad space on behalf of the London Underground (the Tube).



The Digital Escalator Panels (D-EPs) are to be trialled on either side of the escalators at Tottenham Court Road Tube station. They will enable advertisers to create animated posters that move or feature changing text and images.

Viacom Outdoor claims that its electronic posters which have been developed by Esprit Digital, are the first in the world to bring dynamic digital images onto escalators. Because the sites will be linked together electronically, advertisers will also be able to use all the sites on the escalators in unison. Images will be able to ‘transfer’ from screen to screen travelling up or down the escalator.



Viacom Outdoor has been working in partnership with the London Underground management and technical partners for some time to create the sites. These will go live with a broader advertiser base in the coming months after an initial test period.

The 66 D-EPs at Tottenham Court Road will initially partner seven different clients including the London Underground. The screens will display advertisements lasting either five or ten seconds and Tottenham Court Road has been chosen as the test site as it is the busiest escalator on the London Underground network.



London Underground’s initial digital advert is likely to feature corporate messages for their customers. As well as further enhancing the Tube environment, the posters will also promise to revolutionise the way advertisers can use poster sites to reach consumers on the move during the day and at different times during the week.

For example, local retailers can promote their latest special offers, theatres, entertainment venues, pubs and bars can use the digital sites in the evening to reach travellers enjoying a night out in London, and broadcasters can highlight different programmes across their daily schedule.

During the initial launch period however, Viacom Outdoor will be selling air-time on the D-EP sites on a two-week basis, with posters on both sides of the escalator carrying the same ads in rotation.

Advertisers using the sites will work within guidelines drawn up by Viacom Outdoor and the London Underground, to ensure travellers' safety is maintained while using escalators.

Viacom Outdoor account director - digital Jon Lewen said, "We are committed to exploring new and innovative ways to capture and captivate London Underground users. D-EPs will both enhance the consumer’s experience of advertising on the Tube and offer revolutionary new creative opportunities for our clients to connect with this audience in a more creative and tactical fashion."

Viacom Outdoor sells all advertising space and sponsorship opportunities on the London Underground, Docklands Light Railway, buses, trams, national rail and Inter-urban coaches across the UK. Viacom Outdoor’s European portfolio includes media interests in Ireland, France, Italy, Netherlands, Finland and Spain.

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