Sunday, July 09, 2006

Track-side advertisements

On the train back from Liverpool this afternoon, I went past several trucks parked in fields with large messages on display saying things like: "Your advert could be here!"

The fact that there was, in fact, no paid advertising on any of them made me think:

  • Were I a company wanting to market my products or services, would such an advert persuade me to call the farmer and buy an ad? The advert didn't really give me any reason to call. Perhaps they'd have been better telling me how many trains go past each day or how many people would see it or what their demographics wee.

  • Perhaps the farmer should be advertising to those who place ads rather than those whose products are being advertised.

  • Those travelling on peak-time weekday inter-city services are overwhelmingly business travellers (the price ensures that). Adverts that attract their attention will be different to ads that interest weekend leisure travellers. Some sort of targetted advert based on the nature of the traveller would seem useful

  • Perhaps there's a role for technology here. Train schedules are known in advance and real-time train information feeds are also available. Perhaps targetting travellers by destination would be sensible. If a Glasgow-bound train was about to pass, perhaps a nice advert for a deep-fried Mars-bar would drive some extra sales at the chip shops in Scotland. Perhaps it would be profitable to advertise the virtues of M&S "Simply Food" to those travelling on a train scheduled to arrive at Euston on a long distance train around dinner time. Perhaps, even, trackside sensors could be profitably employed to display different ads to those in first class, standard and "quiet zone"

One thing's for sure.... writing "Your company could advertise here" clearly doesn't work...


Ben said...

Note that this may actually not be legal.

Richard Brown said...