There’s not much to like about the London Underground. It’s stuffy, gloomy, and there are humans everywhere (along with a few mice, but they’re cute). If you’re lucky enough to get a seat, you know around forty million butts have imprinted themselves there before you, and if you’re not lucky enough to get a seat, prepare to get acquainted with an armpit that does not belong to you.
All that said, there’s one thing I DO enjoy when taking the underground. I can do it when taking the longest escalators in existence. I can do it when hovering on the platform waiting for a gust of wind to hit me from the tunnel and make my hair look either Vogue-worthy or a total shitshow. I can do it when hurtling along at who-knows-how-fast in the carriage that somehow got itself 50 metres below London.
I’m talking about reading the ads. Ads are evvvvvverywhere on the underground. You can’t escape them for a split second. There’s so much space and so much opportunity to captivate the massive guaranteed audience, and yet, so few brands capitalize on it.
Because they forget that the point isn’t just to get their ad noticed (easy) it’s to get their ad REMEMBERED (hard).
There’s no internet underground, so unless you’re smart/weird enough to take a photo of an ad you’ve got to remember the brand and whatever the ad is promoting while being pummelled by hundreds of other ads.
I was consciously consuming these underground ads when I was in London for a couple of days last week, and there’s ONLY ONE I can remember well enough to search online for more information.
It was for Caspar, a mattress company. You know why I remembered it? BECAUSE THE MESSAGE WAS SO DAMN GOOD.
And it was only four words long.
“We have drift off.“
The simplicity of this makes me more excited than the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. It’s clear AND clever, which is a winning combination in my house.
Brand captivation is about strategy AND creativity. The work you do and the way you do it might not be original, but the way you talk about it should be.
So if you have the signature service perfectly packaged, or the funnels all systemized, or the website copy structured like the templates say, but you’re still not getting traction with your best-fit clients, ask yourself these two questions:
What is it about your brand that’s worth remembering?
How can you communicate that in a more creative way?