Is Subway Advertising Right for Your Business? Find Out Now

The average attention span of most of the audience intended for advertisements is minimal, at best. These days, information is coming at us from all directions but mostly from our phones. When we do look up at the world around us, we are bombarded by even more.

As strange as it may seem, advertising in the middle of chaos can be extremely beneficial – when done correctly. The key is to decide on the best method for your business, and then come up with a plan.

For large metropolitan areas or any city with public transportation, consider subway advertising. Keep reading and find out how this type of campaign could be beneficial to your business.

1. Captive Audience

No matter how long, or short, a person is on the subway, they are a captive audience. There is no choice but to look up from the phone so you can at least be sure you are getting on the right train. And whenever someone looks up and away from their phone, the better chance of them seeing your ad.

Once they are on the train, subway ads are even more effective. There is usually no view on a subway, that is what makes a subway ad so perfect. The reader is a captive audience. The chances are they will go right back to their phones, but on the other hand that could also be beneficial.

2. Interactive Capabilities

While the struggle to get potential customers to look up from their phones is real, subway advertising can use the phone as an effective partner and put it to work for your campaign.

For example, a subway ad can contain a QR (quick response) code which can easily be scanned by anyone’s mobile phone to take them directly to your business site. As we

mentioned before, being a captive audience also means they may look at your ad longer. That gives it more staying power in their head.

Luckily, since their phone is right in their hand, they can even search for your business site or social media page while they are sitting (or standing) right in front of your ad. By keeping your campaign, slogan, or image in their head longer they are less likely to forget it. Having the option to interact with an ad with their phone is a great way to acquire a customer.

In addition, keep in mind that subway ads should appease the local clientele just as much as the tourists.

3. Variety

No one wants to see the same type of boring, templated ad that every company is running. Your advertising, just like your business, should be customized to suit your services. Subway signs are a fantastic way to accomplish this as there are a variety of options.

A rare, but fun campaign that takes over the entire subway advertisement is “station domination.” This can be a particularly effective ad campaign for a very special and city specific event. If your city happens to be hosting the Super Bowl that year, a station domination campaign by the main sponsor would be appropriate.

More commonly however, platform posters are used. These are large, poster-sized advertisements that can be placed virtually anywhere in the subway station, very visible for pedestrians walking to/from the trains. They can even be viewed on the far side of the platforms by other train passengers when there are no cars present.

Oftentimes, these platform posters have space for digital ads. Having the ability to change your ad in real time is a huge benefit! Keep your customers updated, especially if there are changes or updates for upcoming sales or events. Your potential customers will know the information is the latest and most accurate. It also makes it easier to see in the dark, drab subway.

Car cards are the next most popular method of subway advertising, where the entire car is wrapped with an image and text.

4. Other Benefits

There are several other benefits in addition to the aforementioned. One being subway advertising will hit mostly locals with the same commute route daily. This gives smaller, neighborhood businesses a way to compete with big box competitors on an equal playing field.

With a subway ad, you also don’t have to worry about your business reaching a diverse audience. All ages and demographics ride the subway, including travelers and frequent visitors or commuters from other areas or even states.


These are just a few of the advantages that subway advertising can benefit your business. Reach a captive and diverse audience, stay in their mind and on their phones! Enjoy the flexibility and variety of ad types as the business owner and use subway advertising to get the biggest bang for your buck.

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