Exterion Media upgrades TfL digital ad real estate with Ribbon and Gateway screens

Exterion Media's premium TfL Digital Ribbon screens

Exterion Media and Transport for London have rolled out hundreds of HD screens across five high-traffic tube stations as part of a network-wide digital out of home upgrade.

Full-motion ‘Digital Ribbons’ have also been introduced at Waterloo and Oxford Street stations and the first 'Digital Gateway' superscreen has been installed at Bank, overhanging the escalators.

The digital out of home upgrade saw more than one hundred full-motion digital screens installed on five major London Underground stations – London Bridge, Waterloo, Oxford Circus, Liverpool Street, and South Kensington.

The Digital Ribbons enable “brands to attract and engage consumers on a new scale," by allowing ad campaigns to flow along the length of the escalator without any breaks. Exterion Media claimed that these are four times more effective than static creative.

Ribbons were installed at King’s Cross St Pancras, Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road Tube stations earlier this year. Google, Disney and O2 were among the brands to try out the new format.

The Digital Gateway screen (below) at Bank Station, meanwhile, is expected to make an impact on the 3.2 million passenger journeys a month. This can loop online and TV video creative and is capable of adapting to real-time data like weather or the economy.

There are plans for five further Digital Gateway installations across the Underground in the next year. Standing at 21 square meters, these HD screens will prove hard for commuters to miss.

Nigel Clarkson, chief revenue officer of Exterion Media, said: “This week we have unveiled our largest launch together of digital advertising screens across the London Underground network. Out-of-home, and digital in particular, advertising continues to deliver huge opportunities for brands, time and time again.

“With our new Digital Ribbons screens, Digital Gateway at London Bridge and DEPs, we’re offering big impact for brands in an environment where commuters are very receptive to advertisements and are looking to be engaged and entertained. The dynamic capabilities of these full-motion formats offer advertisers a stand-out creative canvas that will engage London commuters on a whole new scale.”

Chris Reader, head of commercial media at TfL, said the new screens are a "brilliant addition to our estate".

He added: "[It is] enabling brands to launch creative and engaging campaigns that will inspire our customers as they travel across the capital. We are continuing to invest in our advertising estate, which is already one of the most valuable in the world, and this enables us to raise vital revenue to reinvest back into the transport network.”

The rollout comes a week after TfL introduced wifi tracking to better chart the journeys of commuters. Using depersonalised data, the organisation can now understand how people move through the system and will eventually inform real-time traffic updates and advertising.

Although the data will not drive digital advertising, it will aid with reporting impressions of, and footfall near, its vast physical advertising real estate.

It comes at a time when tube advertising is under increasing scrutiny.

This year TfL rolled out a contentious ban on junk food ads as a means of combating the UK's obesity crisis.

Ellie Roberts, head of planning at Bountiful Cow, wrote in The Drum that this drive from London mayor Sadiq Khan is is worthy of applause but ultimately "too blunt and flawed".

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