Blog Post #8: Animation on the Metro/Subway

Over the summer I went into D.C. by Metro and was amused to see some animations on the walls in the tunnels. I find this completely fascinating that they take advantage of the motion of the Metro to put ads on the wall that when seen in succession play like a commercial on TV. This post will talk about the recent innovation of using animation for ads on Metros and subways across the world and also show videos of them.

The one I saw over the summer was the Nestle Quik rabbit ad while riding on the Metro into D.C. The ads are not only seen in D.C. but also in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Tokyo. It is such a good idea but not everyone likes the intrusion of ads into the Metro riding experience. Although many riders (when I saw the animation)  were amused  by the Nestle rabbit bouncing around. It really helps alleviate your riding experience if you are nervous about the bumpiness and loud noises.

For Los Angeles, by implementing these animated ads the annual revenue will be raised by $240,000. They are placed between the Hollywood/Highland and Universal City stations. The pictures consist of 360 LED strips that light up when a train passes, forming an animated video. The really neat thing is that the company who controls the ads, Sidetrack Technologies, can change them from online. Bradley Caruk is the inventor, from Sidetrack Technologies, for using the LED light system to create the animations on the wall. He explains the system, which won the Manning Innovation award, here in this youtube video:

Using advertisement in subways and Metros is very smart. They work like billboards, you are stuck on the road so you see the advertisement. You can not escape it but the amusement factor helps with drawing the attention towards the animations.

Here are a few videos of the Metro/subway ads:

Corvette ad in NYC:

The Metro Nestle Quik Ad:

I responded to Andrew Steward and Chuck Soo-Hoo.


4 thoughts on “Blog Post #8: Animation on the Metro/Subway

  1. This is really cool. I have rarely ridden the metro, but I have been on the NYC subway a lot. Those long rides would be a lot nicer with something to look at. Whoever came up with this marketing tactic was absolutely brilliant! Neat post!

  2. Haha, wow those are quite interesting. I am not all that surprised that they are sticking illuminated ads such as this in the tunnels. I agree with what was stated in the previous comment, having something different to look at while riding the subway is definitely welcome. I am sure that the ads could become annoying, but hopefully the ability to actively change the ads will avert such issues. All in all it is an interesting innovation in a method of transport that not many would expect.

  3. That’s awesome! I’m on the metro daily and didn’t know that line had that during the tunnels. I would love to have the orange line sport some spiffy animation. I think the animation gives a sense of character to the dreary grey cement tunnels. Maybe it would even get those children to stay still and not cry in those crammed cars to boot!

  4. I found these ads to be interesting and I agree with everyone else that it would be nice to look at these types of ads would help make a trip along the Metro less boring and dreary. This is, indeed, a great marketing idea and hopefully more will come to other Metro lines to entertain us. All in all, great post!

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