Marketing on the Move

The average commuter in the United States spends about 25 minutes getting to work. But that’s just the average…

The new census reports that this average might downplay the brutal commutes that many individuals endure every day. Whether commuting by train or bus, driving, biking, or walking, we are constantly surrounded by advertisements in our daily travels.

Companies target big, populated cities in order to market their products and services using the mass transportation that commuters and tourists endlessly use. But hey, it’s a smart marketing move!

Those who have been to London likely traveled on or at least know about the incredible underground system that commuters, residents, and visitors benefit from daily. After spending a full semester in London taking the subway (known across the pond as the “tube”), I realized the New York City subway system could not quite compare. While the NYC subway zips around the city effectively, avoiding the tourist congestion and constant traffic on the streets, the clean, attractive, and simple tube system makes the underground experience a little more pleasant.

As a study-abroad student, the tube was part of my daily commute. It became an exceptional way to observe British people, learn the underground landscape of the city, and get a unique glimpse of what’s going on in London by looking at the wide array of advertisements displayed. There are abundant print ads displayed all over the tube stations, however the digital ads for London shows, upcoming movies and traveling opportunities along the escalators are what really caught my eye.


I was urged to see Wicked, Jersey Boys, Spamalot, and more by the digital advertisements singing at me on the wall every day. It was hilarious! Here is an amazing example of the recent advertising in the Oxford Circus tube station for The Great Gatsby––it’s incredible!

Commuting to school on the tube became a huge part of my experience in London. While most commutes can be slow and boring, the advertisements displayed on the tube made my 25-minute ride entertaining. I became such a regular that I even got my own tube stop!

Just kidding––that tube stop existed before me––but here are some pictures from my experience. Enjoy!

Big Ben with the London Eye peeking out in the background

Big Ben with the London Eye peeking out in the background

Classic red phone booth outside St Pancras International

Author: Liz Baron

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