Has anyone noticed the intriguing posters across London Underground stations? I hadn’t noticed it either for a good few weeks (apparently it’s been plastered across the capital since the beginning of October), and when I asked friends about it they had no clue what I was talking about. However, once you eventually do, you wonder how you missed it in the first place. It’s a huge colourful image with lots going on with a hashtag (of course) #lookforlonger and a link.
After doing some research – CBS Outdoor revealed they are behind this cryptic campaign. The poster of visual clues, CBS asks commuters of London to ‘look for longer’ and to guess the 75 tube stations featured. It challenges commuter’s lateral thinking and knowledge of London stations, not to mention the Virgin Media Wi-Fi on the underground to engage the city folk. Players are entered into a prize draw after guessing correctly a certain amount of stations.
When my friend and I saw it last weekend at Leicester Square station, we were curious as to what it could be, and when we eventually remembered to look it up – at home (I find the underground Wi-Fi isn’t always up to scratch) – we were hooked. I love a good quiz especially when the answers are all written down on a Tube map; the difficulty is matching the right ones with the images. It is so addictive and CBS have achieved something that doesn’t usually happen – prolonged interaction. I spent the next few days trying to complete the challenge, and by the looks of it via social media and blog sites, so have many others; I even started having dreams about it.
I think overall it’s a great campaign, intriguing and within reach (in terms of access and knowledge), nobody likes to leave something incomplete so once you start, you have to stay with it until the end. My friend and I both passed this on to our friends and family, which they then had a go at themselves. I think the fun element is the most engaging, neither my friend nor myself are particularly bothered about first prize (a Virgin Media TV…okay so I wouldn’t say no if I win, but I would quite happily play the game if there was no prize at all). In fact, the Tweet response I received awarding me with a medal Twibbon acknowledging my completion of the quiz feels sufficient enough.
I am at several Tube stations everyday, I’m quite an observant person but the success of the poster does depend a lot on your location, what you are doing and time of day. I think they could have made the poster a lot more attention-grabbing. People say less words the better (the first commandment of creating a PowerPoint), but you have to make those words stand out in order for people to really engage with it. I think that is the only minor issue here, a group of images randomly placed isn’t enough to imprint onto busy people’s agendas, the hashtag could have been in a better placed position (say – at the top?), although how does this compare to the results of being in someone’s eyeline?
It just goes to show that within an interactive modern campaign, the traditional values are still there for an oh-so effective result.