Why You Should Avoid Subway Ads
The New York City subway is among the top ten busiest in the world. As such, it offers a massive opportunity for advertisers to build brand awareness for businesses. However, subway ads are unable to match the ROI that advertisers expect. This article highlights the challenges the medium faces.
Impressions do not translate to direct actions
The most significant selling point for subway ads is that they generate millions of impressions annually. Notably, the argument is that many people, especially in North America and Asia, use metros as the primary means of mobility. 3,730 million passengers passed through the 1,270 metro stations in North America in 2017. Worldwide, an average of 168 million people use metros annually, making it a potent platform for advertisers.
Unfortunately, the metros are good for impressions but not poor when it comes to conversion rates. Of the millions of passengers that use the New York City subway yearly, over 50% see the ads placed at different places in the subway. However, many of these people are in too much of a hurry to take time to engage with the messages. Further, the majority of subway users swipe at their phones while at the station. The resulting inattention implies that few people notice the subway ads that dot the stations. Ultimately, investment in the medium is loss-making.