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Blogs, Digital, Marketing Plan, Out of home

A Guide To Marketing Terms For Beginners

Whether you’re getting your start-up venture off the ground or seeking to grow your established company, marketing is an essential part of every business. But if you’re not a marketing professional, there can be an awful lot of acronyms and terms flying around, and trying to keep up can make your head spin!

But don’t worry, if you don’t know your CTA from your CMS or your buyer persona from your brand awareness, we’re here to help! The number of terms and acronyms seems to grow every day, but we have compiled some of the most common terms, abbreviations, and concepts into a handy glossary for you.

Basic marketing terms


A lead is a potential buyer who has engaged with a brand previously and has a likelihood of making a purchase in the near future.

Content refers to any piece of information that has been created to be seen by an audience, and typically includes blog posts, email newsletters, social media posts, videos, and direct mail.


Infographics are a type of content (see above) that presents statistics, data, and other information
in an easy-to-understand and well-designed image.


Analytics in marketing is the process of analysing data so that the ROI (return on investment – see below) of a specific marketing activity or campaign can be determined. Marketers also use the term analytics when referring to the dashboard or system they use to track and review this data.


A brand is how a company is perceived and experienced by an audience and customers. Branding – the elements of a brand – include its logo, design elements, and the tone of voice used when interacting with customers and its target audience.

Buyer persona

A buyer persona is an imaginary customer that marketers target when they are developing ads, campaigns, and content. Buyer personas are not actual people but are built from the data of real customers. Marketers use these buyer personas to help inform the audience, tactics, and tone of the message they are wanting to convey.

CTA (Call To Action)

A CTA is a prompt that aims to encourage website visitors to perform a certain action, whether that’s to subscribe to a newsletter, submit a contact form, or make a purchase. A CTA is typically used to help guide a customer to the next step in the sales funnel (see below).

Customer journey

Rather than it describing the bus ride into town to your retail outlet, in marketing, a customer journey is a phrase used to describe the process from when a customer first shows interest in a product or service to the point at which any interaction is completed.


B2B is marketing shorthand for business-to-business. A B2B company markets its products or services to other businesses.


B2C is marketing shorthand for business-to-customer. A B2C company markets its products or services directly to the end consumer.


The relationship developed between marketers and customers is referred to as engagement. In digital marketing, engagement can be measured as actions a visitor makes online, for example, clicking on a link or posting a comment on a blog or social media post.

Qualified lead

This is the name given to an individual that marketers have decided is a viable prospect when it comes to marketing a product or service. This is determined when marketing efforts have found that this individual has shown interest in the product or service.

ROI (Return On Investment)

Marketing campaigns require an initial investment of time and/or money, and the ROI is the metric that measures whether marketing efforts have earned enough money to be worth the initial investment.

Sales Funnel

A sales funnel refers to the buying journey that potential customers take before they make a purchase. The sales funnel includes multiple steps, from the initial discovery of a brand right through to becoming a loyal repeat customer.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

Your USP refers to what exactly it is that makes your product or service stand out from the competition. This could be a unique feature of your brand or product, its superior quality, pricing, or more.

On-site content

This refers to all of the content that a company has produced and shared on its website. It is designed to provide a potential customer to your website with the best experience possible while visiting your website.

Off-site content

Conversely, off-site content is all the content that is shared away from a company’s home website and designed to be eye-catching and help draw a potential customer to the company’s website, product, or service.


A campaign is a set of marketing activities that have been designed to achieve a specific goal, for example, increasing sales for a particular product or increasing awareness of a product or service.

Brand awareness

This refers to the extent to which a potential customer is familiar with your company, and the distinct images and qualities – the branding – that are associated with your company, products, and services.

Types of marketing

Inbound marketing

Inbound marketing makes use of content and social media marketing to help attract new customers. This is the opposite of pursuing customers with the ‘hard sell’ or outbound marketing (see below), as inbound marketers develop relationships with an audience by meeting them where they are already in the purchase process, ideally, drawing them in to learn more about the brand.

Outbound marketing

This is the more traditional ‘hard sell’ type of marketing that tries to get the attention of potential customers by interrupting their daily lives with cold calling or direct mail campaigns.

Social media marketing

This is a digital marketing method that leverages various social media channels to help create brand awareness (see above) to help develop a relationship via regular interaction.

Email marketing

Content sent via email to current or potential customers who have subscribed to a marketing email list is email marketing. You’ll likely have received half a dozen of these by the time you’ve finished reading this article!

Content marketing

This is a marketing method that is centred on creating interesting, relevant, and consistent content to help attract new leads and convert them into becoming customers. See ‘content’ above for examples of what is used in content marketing.

Omnichannel marketing

Omnichannel marketing is the process of integrating all the different forms of marketing used by a company to make sure that a customer receives a consistent brand experience across all the various channels.

WOM (Word-of-mouth marketing)

Widely considered to be the most effective form of marketing, WOM is the oral or written testimony of a product or service from a satisfied customer to a potential customer.

Digital marketing terms
Landing page

A landing page is is a webpage optimised for lead generation. It is a stand-alone website page that will typically include a strong CTA (see above) or a lead magnet (see below) as part of a marketing campaign, such as offering a discount in return for providing customer information such as an email address.


Chatbots are automated tools now found on more and more websites and are usually used to address common customer questions. By scanning chat messages from customers, chatbots can identify potential keywords (see below) and topics of interest to be able to provide pre-populated messages. If needed, chatbots can escalate enquiries to a human representative.


Keywords are words or short phrases that are entered by users into search engines to help find
relevant information. Digital marketers can then incorporate these keywords into web pages and
content to help boost their website’s visibility in search engines – see SEO below.

Bounce rate

This is a metric that shows the percentage of visitors who left the website after viewing only one
page. A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a sign for marketers to adjust
their websites so that visitors are enticed to stay longer and see more of the site.

CTR (Click-through rate)

The CTR is a metric that measures how many people click on an ad when they see it.

CMS (Content Management System)

A CMS is a type of web publishing tool that is designed to manage the content that marketers have created for their websites.

UX (User Experience)
UX is the design process of making a website or app easier for visitors to understand and navigate.

Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is an incentive for potential customers to provide their information, such as a discount code or a free eBook download.


We’ve all seen clickbait on social media, where content creators try to manipulate individuals to get them to click a link. It typically uses provocative titles to pique the interest of viewers. Marketers Use This One Weird Trick That Will Instantly Boost Your Engagement!

Social proof

This is a psychological phenomenon in which people are more likely to trust a brand or make purchases if they have seen positive reviews or news from their peers on social media.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO is the process of using keywords and other strategies to help boost the visibility of a website to search engines and increase the likelihood of a website or specific web page being among the first shown in a list of each engine results.

An ever-growing list

As mentioned, the number of terms and acronyms in marketing continues to grow, and like many trends, some will stick around, while others may simply vanish before they gain any traction. But we hope we have helped clear up some of the most common forms of marketing lingo for you here.

If you’re looking for no-nonsense marketing and don’t want to feel left out of the loop when growing your business, then come and talk to Tonic today!

Marketing Plan
Blogs, Digital, Marketing Plan, Out of home

How to Develop a Marketing Plan

No matter whether you’re dipping your toe into the world of marketing for the first time, or you’re a seasoned professional, trying to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of marketing trends can be overwhelming.

Even during this year alone, there has been a shift to short-form videos, new platforms arise, while others fall out of favour, and the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact the world. In most cases, what was a tried and tested marketing strategy yesterday simply might not be working for you by tomorrow.

To ensure that your marketing efforts continue to be successful, and to maintain a sense of relevance with your increasingly picky audience, you must stay ahead of the curve, and one means of accomplishing that is to develop a marketing strategy that covers all the bases.

We wanted to have a look at how to develop your marketing strategy in 2022 and beyond, and how to put it into practice with a marketing plan.

The Importance of a Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy
A robust marketing strategy will help you gain traction with your target audience, which includes those who are unaware of your brand as well as your most loyal repeat customers.

By neglecting to create a defined marketing strategy, you’ll be taking potshots in the dark, and keeping your fingers crossed that you manage to hit your target, which ultimately costs time, money, and precious resources.

A marketing strategy needs to:
Align your marketing team to specific goals
Help align your marketing efforts with the brand’s business objectives
Allow you to identify and test your marketing efforts to see what gets the best response from your target audience

In developing a successful marketing plan, there are seven steps to take into account. Develop your marketing plan, create buyer personas, identify your goals, choose the right tools, review existing recourses, audit and plan campaigns, and implement your strategy.

  1. Develop a marketing plan

While a marketing strategy will determine why your marketing team needs certain resources, take certain actions, and set certain goals, a marketing plan lists the set of actions you need to take to achieve it.

Your marketing plan is your roadmap to help organise, execute, and track your marketing strategy over a given period. It will help you deliver your strategy, as well as determine what works and what doesn’t, as well as tie in with your business goals.

  1. Create buyer personas

Defining your target audience can be tricky, and if you discover that you are unable to pin it down in a simple sentence, then creating buyer personas is a way to develop a snapshot of your ideal customer.

For example, clothing retailer H&M, despite an extensive product portfolio, primarily targets women aged between 20 and 34, who are looking for fashionable, up-to-date, and trendy apparel at a low price. They could define a buyer persona as Budget Brenda, a stylish working-class urbanite in her late 20s, who wants to have a wardrobe full of designer clothing at low prices.
Keeping Budget Brenda in mind, the brand’s marketing team have a clear definition of whom they want to target. Buyer personas include psychographic and demographic information, such as age, income, location, and interests, which Brenda has listed in her description.

Of course, while Brenda might be H&M’s primary focus in this fictional example, other buyer personas can be developed for young male shoppers, families with children, and even homeowners for their homeware ranges.

Buyer personas should be at the core of your marketing strategy.

  1. Identify goals

Your marketing strategy goals need to reflect the brand’s business goals. For example, if one of the business goals is to have 200 people attend a conference you are holding in the next quarter, then one of the marketing goals should be to boost online registration of the conference by 10 per cent by the end of the month to ensure you stay on track.

Other goals could include increasing brand awareness, generating high-quality leads, or growing thought leadership within your industry.

You need to identify what your goals need to be as well as how your marketing department can work to achieve them.

  1. Choose the right tools

Once you have defined your goals, then you need to use the right tools to measure their success.

There are many different software suites such as social media schedulers that can provide analytics that will help you keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Tools such as Google Analytics can measure blog and web page performance.

  1. Review media

To help develop your strategy, assess what resources you have that can help. You can streamline this review by considering your assets as belonging to three different categories – paid, owned, and earned media.

Paid media is any channel on which you spend money to help attract your target audience, including offline channels such as TV and radio advertising, direct mail, and billboards, to online channels such as social media platforms, websites, and search engines.

Owned media is anything that your marketing team creates, for instance, photos, videos, podcasts, infographics, blogs, etc

Earned media refers to user-generated content, such as shares on social media, tweets or Instagram posts mentioning your brand or products.

Collate these materials in each media category into a central location to allow you to gain a clear picture of what you have and how you can use them in your strategy.

For example, if you produce a weekly blog – owned media – you may promote the blog on Twitter – paid media – which customers may then retweet – earned media. This can help you develop a more well-rounded marketing strategy.

It can also provide you with the opportunity to spring-clean your resources and get rid of any that don’t easily fit into any of the three categories, as well as help you determine any gaps in your resources.

  1. Audit and plan marketing campaigns

Now you have gathered all your resources, you need to decide which content will help you. Focus initially on your owned media and marketing goals. For example, updating your call-to-action at the end of blogs or newsletters can help boost online registration for the conference in the above example.

Follow this by taking a close look at your buyer personas. For example, consider a business that creates podcast creation software. If one of the buyer personas is looking for a way to add sound effects to the audio, but you have no content that shows how to do that with your product, make a short-form video for Instagram that demonstrates how effective your product is at solving this problem.

Lastly, develop a content creation plan, which needs to include topic clusters, goals, format, and the appropriate channels for each piece of content, and don’t forget to consider the challenges faced by your buyer personas that it will help solve.

  1. Implement your strategy

Your market research and planning should now present you with a clear vision of how to execute your strategy, and by whom. The final step is to now bring all that together and assign actions to your plans.

Define your strategy in a document that maps out the steps necessary to implement your campaign. It is important to think long-term when creating this document and keep in mind that the standard strategy document will be for the next 12 months. This document should become the main guide for your marketing efforts.

This document needs to outline all the details that have been outlined in the above sections and will ensure you are all set for the coming year.

What happens next?

Developing a robust marketing strategy takes time and hard work, and dedication the ensure you reach your target audience whenever and wherever they are and want to be reached.

Stick with your plan, use all the resources at your disposal, and use customer feedback and research to help you refine your strategy and maximise your time on the marketing channels on which your audience spends most of their time.

If you need help developing your marketing strategy for your business, then come and talk to us at Tonic, and we can help set you on the right track to success!

Leeds Boxing Event Ad Van
Blogs, Out of home

What Is Ad Van Advertising, And How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Despite living in an increasingly digital and always-online world, physical advertising is still a very important form of marketing for all businesses. But with millions of brands and businesses all competing to get their message across to the public, it can often seem near impossible to make yourself seen or heard.

However, if you’re looking for a type of targeted, low-cost advertising that can help you stand out from the crowd, then you should take a closer look at advertising vans, also known as ‘Ad Vans’. These mobile billboards have long been used, but this old-school method of marketing can greatly benefit your brand or business.

What is an Ad Van?

An Ad Van is a branded van that drives around a set route as a form of mobile advertising. This means it can take your message, logo, and brand to the consumers, as opposed to a static billboard which is banking on consumers noticing it as they pass.

They first gained popularity in the US during the 1980s and 90s but did wane with the dawn of online advertising. However, businesses soon realised that offline, or as marketers call it, ‘out-of-home’, advertising still plays a very important role and can be seen as a unique way of marketing your brand.

An Ad Van typically carries a branded portable mobile billboard, like a large ‘A’ board, with a billboard poster or display on each side, meaning it can be seen from both sides of the vehicle. As mentioned, this marketing method has been around for many years and has certainly withstood the test of time.

They have long been popular with businesses that are seeking to target a particular area or a means of marketing that helps them stand out from their competitors.

They can ensure your message is seen on every street in your targeted area, whether that’s a particular postcode or a particular demographic, for example, areas with large numbers of students in university cities, or audiences at key events, such as festivals, sporting events, or conferences.

They can be as simple as a standard billboard poster, be illuminated and backlit for higher impact in low light conditions, include audio systems to play music or a message, or even make use of advanced LED screens for dynamic, animated advertising that really grabs attention.

Ad Vans can be used to promote so many different things, for example:

  • Store openings or re-launches
  • Product launches
  • Sales, discounts, or special offers
  • Exhibitions and events
  • Public safety messages and announcements
  • Election campaigning
  • And anything else you can think of!

Benefits of Advertising Van Adverts

Let’s have a look at how Ad Van advertising can benefit your business:

Target a specific geographic area – With an Ad Van, a brand can specify a geographic area. The Ad Van will travel around that area, or make circuits along a designated route. This could be the catchment area in which the brand’s service or product is being offered or areas in which there is a high demographic of the brand’s target audience, such as students or city-centre office workers.

Guerrilla Marketing – An Ad Van can drive around targeted areas which would otherwise be very expensive to advertise in or buy static billboard space, for example, sponsorship and advertising at festivals, exhibitions and large events can be very expensive, but by employing ‘guerrilla marketing’ tactics, you can get your message across to consumers at these events at a fraction of the price.

Easily amended – Print and online advertising is typically arranged for a set period, and will not be able to be changed once the campaign is live. But an Ad Van can be redressed as often as required, the destinations changed, and associated promotional activity adjusted to suit. It is this freedom to amend your marketing that have made the Ad Van so popular over the years.

What are the costs?

Various factors will determine the cost of hiring an Ad Van, including:

  • Duration – For how long do you want the campaign to run? A day, a week, a month?
  • Transport – Do you want the Ad Van to drive around, or simply park up in high-impact areas?
  • Type – Do you want a standard print billboard, illumination, audio, or a digital billboard?
  • Size – How big do you want the billboard? This will obviously impact the size of the van required.
  • Additional charges may also apply, for instance, cognition charges, Low Emission Zone charges, and toll roads.

Does the impact of an Ad Van compare to other forms of outdoor advertising?

Ad Vans are very effective, although it can be more difficult to accurately quantify how effective. For instance, in the case of adverts in train stations, there are records of how many people will have passed through that station and will likely have seen the advert.

However, your brand can be confident in knowing that whether it is driven around or parked up, the Ad Van will have been seen in busy areas by many people.

In conclusion

To sum up, here’s why you should be taking another look at Ad Vans:

  • Make an impact – double-sided posters or high-tech digital displays, either way, this unique form of marketing will grab the attention of your target consumers.
  • Get seen – Get your brand and message out in front of your target audience and in the areas in which you want to get noticed.
  • Perfect timing – Choose the best time of day to ensure the Ad Van is seen by your audience.
  • Cost-effective – A means of marketing in high-impact areas at far less cost than traditional billboard advertising.

Ad Vans and mobile billboards are being used in many large cities in the US as part of experiential marketing, and the UK is quickly catching up, with recent campaigns for ITV, Virgin, and Vodafone. If you’re interested in finding out more about this unique and highly attractive media for marketers and businesses, then come and talk to us at Tonic today for more information!

Blackpool Fireworks
Blogs, Out of home, Recent projects

Why Should Your Business Consider Sponsorship

Brand sponsorship is a marketing strategy that differs considerably from advertising, but they can often be confused with each other. We have a look at what sponsorships are and how they can help your business.

Traditional advertising attempts to persuade customers with a single message, whether it’s your brand, a product, or a service to a large audience, casting a wide net.

However, sponsorship allows a brand to develop an ongoing relationship with a sports team, a charity, an event, or more, that ultimately aims to be profitable for both parties. Sponsorships take the form of financial or in-kind support of activities, for example, events, trade shows, or charities, to help reach specific business goals and boost their competitive advantage.

Unlike advertising, sponsorships do not directly promote your brand, services, or products, investing instead in a specific event or group that your customers care about. This will lead your organisation to be associated with the beneficiary by customers, the public, and the media.

How does sponsorship work?

Developing an affiliation with an entity that the public cares about through sponsorship will help increase the perception of the sponsor’s brand in the public eye. This affiliation helps create a ‘halo effect’ of goodwill, and the positive associations of the beneficiary are reflected onto the sponsor.

Sponsorship provides a positive benefit to society by empowering entities that consumers care about, meaning that sponsorship has a higher positive perception than advertising, the only goal of which is for commercial gain, and therefore does not appear to have any perceptible benefit to society.

Advertising can sometimes appear aggressive and coercive and can result in consumers becoming defensive, while the commercial intent of sponsorship is far more subtle and indirect, lowering these defence mechanisms.

Many large community events leverage sponsorship to help develop more exciting programmes and to help offset costs.

In the case of trade shows or charity events, there are various promotional opportunities, such as the sponsorship of guest speakers, press rooms, VIP lounges, awards and awards receptions, educational programmes, AV equipment, and more.

There are also opportunities for sponsorship for local causes, such as sports teams or charity events, which while offering limited places, allow brands to reach a specific local audience.

Sponsoring a small, local sports team means fewer people will see your branding than at a national trade show, but if your customers are all local, then it could be the best place to be seen by a local audience.

The marketing benefits of sponsorship

Sponsorships can help your brand reach niche markets without the cost and uncertainty that can be associated with traditional advertising, and a strategic sponsorship can help you achieve multiple marketing goals simultaneously.

Consumer attitudes. Sponsoring an event or cause that your customer base cares about will help create a positive attitude about your brand. If your customers feel that you care about the same issues that they care about, they are far more likely to develop a positive attitude about your business.

Brand awareness. Sponsorship in the form of in-kind products tends to be cheaper than traditional advertising, and by choosing beneficiaries strategically, you are almost guaranteed to find an audience that needs your products.

For example, a pet food manufacturer or pet supplies that provide a dog/cat shelter with their products will have its brand seen by its target audience regularly.

Drive sales. With brand awareness comes an increase in sales. Many sponsorship opportunities will drive sales by introducing customers to your product or services in a way that encourages them to make a purchase.

Using the above example, providing free samples or products for people who adopt a cat or dog, or discount vouchers to make a purchase at your stores or website can lead customers to purchase your products regularly.

You can also link purchases to a specific event, such as, in the above example, making a donation every time a customer makes a purchase during the shelter’s charity drive.

Increase reach. Consumers who attend an event that you have sponsored will gain a positive association with your brand and will talk about your product, or service. Strategic sponsorship will encourage word-of-mouth marketing, and having your brand on an event’s promotional materials will allow you to reach more customers.

Media Exposure. Media coverage can be costly, and often out of reach for small businesses, but media exposure can be capitalised upon by sponsoring an event, occasion, or trade show. Media coverage of such events will typically include the name of sponsors, particularly if your brand name is included in the event’s promotional materials and press releases.

This can significantly increase the visibility of your brand, products, or services and generate positive association. Develop a media plan to capitalise on this.

Stand out from your competitors. Sponsorship, especially if it is exclusive, will help set you apart from your competitors as you are tied to a positive affiliation in the minds of your customers. This is a good tactic if your competitors have a larger advertising budget than your business.

Become a ‘corporate citizen’. Sponsorships do not have to be focused on industry events and trade shows. Sponsoring local sports teams, charities, or events such as museum and art exhibits will establish you as a brand with a conscience, and consumers will perceive you as being a contributing factor to their community, creating goodwill and positive associations.

Lead Generation. Sponsoring an industry event, such as a trade show, will allow your brand to connect with consumers who are in need of your products or services. You can capitalise on the sponsorship by showcasing your brand, product, or services.

However, do not make the focus on sales, and instead, be helpful and a knowledge base to assist interested customers, encouraging them to sign up to find out more about your business. Offering something free in return for contact information is a tried and tested way to engage with consumers.

Develop business, consumer, and VIP relationships. An event can provide the opportunity for sponsors for exclusive VIP receptions, networking, or outings with high-profile industry individuals. This can be used to your advantage to meet key customers and develop business relationships, but ensure you have a follow-up plan for after the event.

Adding sponsorship to your marketing plans

Sponsorships can help your business improve its public image, prestige, and credibility, but like other forms of marketing, it needs to be used strategically to be sure that you reach your target audience.

As you develop your marketing plan, you need to consider and research the events and causes that your target audience cares about.

Consider the following:

  • Has the event/charity/organisation worked with sponsors previously?
  • If not, are they open to the idea?
  • What kind of support would they be expecting?
  • What levels of exposure would different levels of sponsorship provide your brand?

Consider the cost and reach of the sponsorship opportunities available, and you may find that they will often be a far better use of your marketing budget than traditional advertising, particularly on a local level.

Case Study

The World Fireworks Championship is an annual event held in Blackpool every year, throughout September and October. Set to music, the popular and incredible displays take place on the beach in front of the iconic Blackpool Tower and have proven to be a big draw for tourists to the town.

This year, a fourth date, Friday 28 October, has been added to the fireworks festival, which gathers the ‘the crème de la crème of the world’s firework elite’, and has been sponsored by one of Tonic’s clients, Coral Island, a family-friendly indoor pirate-themed amusement park on Blackpool’s promenade.

The World Fireworks Championships is well publicised, with features in the local press, both Blackpool and the wider Lancashire region, for instance, The Lancashire Telegraph and the Visit Blackpool tourism website, all of which highlight that the additional date has been sponsored by Coral Island, which is only a short walk from the site of the displays.

If you want to know more about how sponsorship can benefit your business, come and talk to Tonic today!

London Underground escalator
Blogs, Out of home

Why Advertise On London Underground

The London Underground, the capital’s rapid transit system is as much of an icon of the city as any of the popular landmarks. Serving the Greater London area and some parts of Buckinghamshire, Essex and Hertfordshire, the Tube sees 4.8 million passengers every day, carrying them through the 400km network and 270 stations.

This means that London Underground, and the new Elizabeth Line, is a prime location for advertising in a city that has a population of nearly nine million, as well as the millions of tourists who visit the capital every year. Many companies, large and small, advertise on the London Underground to promote their brands, products, and services.

It is easy to see why advertising on the underground is so popular with businesses, having such a wide reach. We have a look at what the options available for advertising on the London Underground are, the costs factors, and the benefits for your business.

What is London Underground Advertising?

London Underground advertising is out-of-home advertising that leverages the infrastructure of the Tube network, to promote brands, products, and services.

Not only does London have a population of around 8.9 million, but it is the destination of millions of visitors every year, including people in London on business and tourists from other parts of the UK and from overseas, many of whom take regular trips across Greater London on the Tube.

This potential exposure to a diverse demographic of people makes advertising on London Underground a popular and profitable investment for many businesses, as they are able to target audiences on platforms, lifts, and elevators who have the time to take in marketing messages while they wait.

According to statistics:

  • 4.8 million people use the London Underground every day.
  • 47 per cent of London Underground commuters only use the tube to commute.
  • 60 per cent of London Underground users notice when advertising on the Tube is changed.

The advertising options available on the London Underground are varied and have long been proven to be effective. It does mean that there is much to consider when developing a marketing campaign.

Advertising options for the London Underground

Let’s have a look at the options available to you for advertising on the Tube.

LEPs (Stair, lift and escalator panels) – These are the posters typically seen at the side of the escalators and in lifts as you travel to and from train stations and tube platforms. LEPs are the most popular form of London Underground advertising, and while traditionally printed on paper, there are also digital display LEP panels in larger stations.

LEPs are seen by anyone standing on the escalators or using the lifts, and therefore have a high impact on the majority of passengers. But with so many LEPs on every line, your advert must have strong clear messages to get the point across quickly as the dwell time is short. This form of advertising allows you to easily target key stations for a greater ROI.

Tube Tunnel Adverts – These large format posters on Tube walls have a greater impact than LEPs, and are seen by passengers standing on platforms. They are typically favoured by larger and international brands for advertising and help to build brand awareness.

Passengers are often waiting for a few minutes on platforms, which means there is more time for the message to be absorbed and understood given the longer dwell time.

Large format posters on station platforms – Smaller and cheaper than Tube Tunnel Adverts, these 4- or 6-sheet posters have similar benefits and are typically bought in packages consisting of more than one poster.

This allows advertising to be spread throughout different platforms and stations, increasing the reach and impact with London Underground passengers.

Walk-way branding – This form of advertising is popular with larger businesses, but it can be expansive, and thus needs a far larger budget. It can involve branding entire walkways or monopolising all the posters in one section of a station.

Consider the rebranding of Piccadilly Circus as ‘Picardilly Circus’ to advertise the launch of the new Star Trek Picard series on Amazon Prime in 2020. This generated national media coverage and delighted passengers, whether they were Trekkies or not!

The main benefit of this form of advertising is that passengers are unable to escape it, as they will have to walk through a plethora of posters and branding to reach their destination. They are ideal for product launches or niche events and tend to become talking points with Tube users, and can even become viral.

Adgate advertising – This is advertising placed at the gates that all tube users need to pass through, whether to tap Oyster cards, bank cards, or use their tickets. As every passenger has to go through these gates, it is a popular form of advertising as it gets a lot of exposure and attention. It is also commonly paired with adgate advertising at railway stations.

Concourses/ticket area/entrances – To complement advertising campaigns throughout the Tube tunnels, platforms and LEPs, simple poster sites in the concourses are a popular choice. These can target an audience that may be buying tickets, waiting for friends, or more.

Tube train advertising (aka tube seat advertising or tube car panels) – These are the small posters seen above seats on the Tube carriages. They are typically eye-catching and seen by passengers as they travel.

With mobile phone reception being spotty at best on the London Underground, passengers often have little to do or look at while travelling to their destination, meaning that this option can be very effective and reaches every stop along that particular line.

What are the costs involved in advertising on the London Underground?

There are a number of factors which will determine the cost of advertising on the Tube, including:

  • Time of year – as with any outdoor marketing campaign, it is recommended to book as far ahead as possible, particularly to target key dates, for instance, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc, to ensure you get the best rates and the prime underground sites.
  • Format of advert – Size matters! Smaller posters will almost always be cheaper than large format posters.
  • Choice of stations – Stations closer to Central London, and thus with greater daily footfall, will be more expensive than those on the outskirts of the capital. It would be advantageous to consider your target market and if you want to focus on certain parts or demographics of Greater London.
  • Advertising campaign length – while it is more expensive to have posters stay up for a prolonged period, it is proven that longer campaigns have a far better ROI. London Underground advertising typically has a minimum of two weeks, while many advertisers tend to do a month or more.

To find out more information and the specific costs for advertising on the London Underground, you will need to consider exactly what you are promoting, your budgets, when you want to advertise, and where you would like to advertise. London Underground advertising can be expensive, but it is very cost-effective and produces great results.

What are the Benefits of London Underground Advertising?

There are many benefits to advertising on the London Underground, as outlined above, but the main benefits for your business are:

  • Huge exposure and a receptive advertising environment
  • The ability to target stations with key messaging
  • The potential to be seen by people from all over the Uk and the world, not just London residents and commuters
  • A wide range of options to suit all budgets
  • Adept at establishing and maintaining a positive brand perception.

If you’d like to find out more about advertising on the London Underground and how it can benefit your business, then come and talk to our experts at Tonic today!

Out of home, Taxi Advertising

Taxi Advertising

A Q&A with Huge Media

What is taxi advertising?

Using Iconic British fully licensed hackney cabs to carry various formats of brand messaging inside and out whilst they are working in busy city centres and urban areas.

How effective can it be?

With the right creative it can be extremely effective, especially for branding campaigns. As taxis negotiate busy arterial routes and command city centres the advertising messages are highly visible amongst an upmarket and urban audience.

What formats are available?

Liveries (fully wrapped taxis), Supersides (panels beneath the windows running the entire length of both sides of the taxi), Tip Seats (the two interior panels on the underside of the flip down seats for additional passengers) rear windscreens and promotional receipt pads, product placement and brand ambassador drivers.

How does it fit into an OOH/overall media campaign?

It can work very well in conjunction with all other media formats used, acting as a prompt whenever seen in busy city centres and in the suburbs. It can be linked to client social media campaigns, using QR codes, taxi selfie and promotional contact numbers.

How do I know where my ad is going?

You buy in ranks in specific general geographical areas but due to the nature of the business, there can be no guarantees of routes taken as drivers have to go where the fares dictate, although it is possible to upweight certain areas of interest (train stations, airports, City or West End in London etc). Suffice to say, even though you may not know the exact route your message is following, it will be one that is highly visible as the driver wants to earn as much revenue as possible. We are currently working with partners to develop a telematics system that will give more precise information regarding opportunities to see and distance covered.

What’s a minimum campaign you would suggest?

There’s no stock answer for this as it depends on many factors such as city centre targeted, planned campaign duration, campaign objectives, the actual message itself and populations of particular towns and cities.

What tips do you have for great creative?

As with most OOH, keep it simple and bold – although use of celebrity, bright colours and striking images usually help with standout. Sometimes less is more!

If you are interested in finding out how Taxi advertising may fit into your out of home marketing mix – contact us on 01829 782671 or hello@tonicconsultancy.co.uk

News from Tonic, Out of home, Recent projects

Recent Projects…

We ended 2020 and started 2021 with an out of home campaign for Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria’s suicide prevention. The “Let’s keep talking” creative was displayed on billboards, bus shelters, and phone kiosks throughout December and January driving maximum impact in local areas at a time when people were struggling in silence. Through the campaign – Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria encouraged people to discuss the challenging issues they are faced due to the lockdown.

The campaign has been shortlisted for a prestigious award at this year’s NHS in the North Excellence in Supply Awards. These awards celebrate inspirational examples of businesses, third sector organisations and the NHS working together to improve patient care and support health and care staff during COVID-19.

The background to the campaign was the huge risks associated with Isolation and lockdown and the effect that this could have on vulnerable people. Through insight gathered, the campaign was quickly mobilised to reach out and share support to those most at risk groups, through (amongst other formats) – a targeted digital and out of home campaign.

Hot spots were prioritised for a complete marketing and engagement programme and a strong relevant creative was developed. Through the delivery channels a narrative was adapted across the region dependent on the audience demographic and within specific locations.

The out of home campaign was planned strategically by cross referencing priority areas with audience data as well as utilising budgets effectively to deliver maximum exposure. The phone kiosk format fit effortlessly with the ‘let’s keep talking’ creative and provided large audiences across prime locations. We peppered the campaign with high impact 48 sheets on commuter routes, as well as a host of 6 sheets to repeat the message in similar locations. The overall out of home campaign delivered close to 4 million impacts across 8 weeks.

The impact in specific areas has resulted in a huge awareness of the support available for those who are vulnerable during this period and therefore has a huge impact on the health system, specifically in the management of the number of suicides in Lancashire and South Cumbria. The campaign will continue to progress and support people and services across the region with more stages of the campaign as we start to open from lockdown measures and risks are further identified due to other reasons (furlough ending, meaning redundancy etc).

Out of home

What is ‘out of home’ advertising?

We know that the world feels a little different right now. In fact, it feels a little weird talking about ‘out of home’ advertising when so many of us have spent the past few months finding ways to work, live and keep safe very much at home. But, as the world starts establishing a new normal (and more and more of us find safe ways to get back to work) it might be time to start thinking about the best ways to advertise.

So what are the best ways to advertise out of home?

At Tonic Consultancy, we have implemented campaigns across the whole spectrum of ‘out of home’ mediums. The most typical ways are:


Taxi advertising is a powerful form of transport advertising. Wrapped taxis can reinforce brand exposure and be a really cost effective marketing method. Although it is definitely worth a sensible discussion about your target audience, as this type of advertising tends to offer a higher impact in more densely populated areas such as towns and cities.


Buses are an everyday sight in the British landscape. Even during lockdown, buses are providing a really valuable network of transport for our essential workers. And as more and more people spend time outside you can find more and more opportunities to boost your marketing efforts. Bus advertising can offer an impactful form of advertising for any size of business and can really drive your target audience to your business, website or event.

Digital advertising vans

A digital ad van is effectively a giant, portable and entirely-customisable LED screen. We can source digital advertising vans and bikes which are designed to deliver your messaging directly to your target audience. The screen offers the flexibility to deliver static or moving content; with audio and video options available. These vans and bikes can push your message to a wide range of different demographics – delivering the right message, to the right people, at the right time. 


Billboards are definitely an old classic. Which means it can be easy to underestimate the value of using a billboard in your marketing campaign. There are lots of ways that you can customise billboard content (shape, imagery, messaging) but if they are used in the right location, they can act as a constant reminder to your target audience that you are just the right brand, business or website for them.

Digital out of home

This form of advertising takes billboards to the next level – and in this technological era, people expect to see digital interfaces more and more. Moving words and images can really work to captivate your target audience and it offers a powerful way to deliver your marketing messaging. 

We can offer a wide range of options for digital out of home advertising, from small screens in public spaces to enormous screens at outdoors events – we can help you to design and deliver your marketing campaign in the best way possible.


People can be really bored at train stations. Commuters and travellers are often spending time just waiting for their train to arrive – and tend to engage with out of home advertising in more receptive ways. How many times have you read a poster on a train platform out of sheer boredom? Rail and tram stations are hubs for your target audience and can offer a clever way to deliver your messaging to a large section of your target audience. 

London Underground

Let’s get real. London is huge. And millions of people navigate the City every day. With clever planning, you can really target vast numbers of the population and most people will see the message once or twice a day. Do you want to target people in financial services? Then look at lines or stations around the City, the West End or Canary Wharf. Do you want to target tourists? Then look more to stations around the sights, Waterloo, Buckingham Palace, Regents Park. 

Advertising on the London underground can be a really effective way to advertise, no matter where in the world your business is located.


We know that air travel isn’t really an option at the moment and we really hope that over the coming months that we can find safe ways to resume trips abroad. When this happens you might want to consider adding airport advertising to your campaign. Holiday makers are typically in a happy frame of mind and much more likely to impulse buy – or engage with a brand that they might not ordinarily engage with. 

If you are starting to think about how you could advertise outside of the home, then give us a shout.