Media on Trial - CBS Outdoor

Media Owner: CBS Outdoor

Product: Digital sheets on the London Underground

Having retained the London Underground contract last year, CBS Outdoor is now planning to roll out its digital LCDs and introduce the long-awaited digital six-sheets and cross-tracks through the rest of 2007.

These formats will remain the preserve of advertisers looking to transmit messages and the benefits are potentially significant.

Advertisers will finally be able to overcome the restrictions of single message formats being delivered in fortnightly cycles. Instead, time-targeting will become a viable option with advertisers having the opportunity to tailor their advertising to different audiences - morning commuters, evening socialisers, weekend tourists and so on.

The roll-out is only happening in central London, but this is where the busier stations are and therefore where the formats will receive the greatest exposure. Marrying time and proximity targeting may well prove to be a powerful selling point for CBS. Retailers and food and drink clients will surely trial these formats. These targeting opportunities could well present CBS with a great chance to steal revenue from media that have traditionally offered this flexibility of exposure to advertising messages - radio in particular, but also press.

Time will tell whether these formats can provide tangible benefits to advertisers, but the future looks bright. It is refreshing to see CBS finally embracing the digital revolution and I am sure the roll-out will be a tremendous success.

From an agency perspective, we are already talking to clients about these formats. CBS will surely benefit from its investment in the new formats. But perhaps the missing link lies with us, London's Tube riders.

The Tube is not a pleasant place at the best of times and I just wonder whether there isn't an opportunity to make the experience more bearable with some entertaining content.

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