Posted: May 1st, 2021
Must be at least 500 words. Must have minimum of 3 outside references.
Please follow the example case and complete the following case study. Please note that all sections must be complete. The key issues section is critical. Look for the terms and concepts that we have learned and apply them to the case. Do not define the key issues. What in the case makes them the key issue?
What do American Express, Target Stores, Coca-Cola, the Discovery Channel, Cadillac, Minute Maid, the Cartoon Network, Royal Caribbean, and Calvin Klein have in common? They all break through the clutter of traditional ad spaces to grab the attention of potential customers. And in the process, they dazzle them right out of the boredom of riding the subway.
Subway advertising has been around nearly as long as the subway itself. But advertising media pioneers Submedia and Digital Underground Media give the old venue a different twist. By employing an innovative technology similar to that of a childhood flip book, they illuminate dark subway tunnels and turn them into valuable showcases for major advertisers.
At the core of this method is a series of lit panels that contain static images. The panels occupy 500 to 1,000 feet of space that normally holds only graffiti, grime, and the occasional rat. When you view one from a standstill, it appears as a simple still image. But when a subway train passes by, the series comes to life for riders as a 15- to 30-second full-motion commercial.
Having just another place to air a commercial might not seem so appealing to advertisers. But in a media environment where consumers increasingly skip or fast-forward through ads, the placement of these messages in subway tunnels presents exceptional possibilities. Advertisers clamor for opportunities to break through the typical clutter. Because these ads are really unique, they’re likely to grab the attention of even the most jaded commuter. “We think this will catch people so totally by surprise that when they see them, they can’t help but watch them,” said Dan Hanrahan, Royal Caribbean’s senior vice president of marketing and sales.
But the uniqueness of this medium is only part of the formula that makes these ad agencies believe they’re on to something. The rest is based on the nature of the subway audience: captive and bored. “Everybody overwhelmingly says it takes away from the boredom of the ride,” said Joshua Spodek, founder of New York City-based Submedia. “It’s not like it’s taking away from a beautiful view, like a billboard as you’re driving around a beautiful area in Vermont. A subway tunnel is a semi-industrial environment.”
Whether it’s because the ads give a bored audience something to do or because this new wave of out-of-home advertisements is truly cutting-edge, industry officials claim that the public reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Submedia reports that 87 percent of riders look forward to seeing the next Submedia advertisement and 60 percent said the ad made their ride more enjoyable.
Comments like these make it easy to believe the claims of underground advertising agencies. One estimate asserts that more than 92 percent of consumers remember the advertised product, whereas only 13 percent have that same level of recall for televisions ads. This means big ad revenues, and not just for the agencies. Mass transit organizations potentially can realize a big source of secondary income when they lease out this unused real estate. In a two-year trial with Digital Underground Media, Madrid (Spain) Metro hoped that subway tunnel ads installed between two of their stations would add € 400,000 of advertising income to their bottom line.
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