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Heathrow Express rolls out video walls

Heathrow Express is teaming up with an innovative Canadian company to offer an advertising first in Europe. The award winning train service has joined forces with SideTrack Technologies Inc. to introduce motion picture advertising on the 15-minute journey.

Where now if they look outside they see little more than their reflections when travelling through the tunnels at Heathrow, passengers will be treated to a series of illuminated images which turn into animated movies as the train passes along at speed.  All of the windows light up from the ‘videowall’ effect upon the tunnel sides. Working much like a child’s flip book, the hi-tech system created by SideTrack Technologies, uses approximately 400 static printed images stretching around 1,500 feet.  The train’s motion in synch with a proprietary lighting system creates a 15 second, “television-like” commercial.

Rob Walker, President of SideTrack, describes the operation: “It is very much like a film projector wherein a shutter opens and closes as the film advances past a light. In the tunnel, rather than the images moving past a static audience, the audience is moved past the static images.”

The sheer contrast between the ads and the blank walls, combined with the lack of competing advertisements within the tunnel produces some of the highest recall rates - nearly 80% - of any advertising media in its target market.

Graeme Hay, Commercial Manager at Heathrow Express, adds, “Many advertisers have already recognised the potential of our passenger socio-demographics. 67% of our 5 Million passengers last year were classified as ABs. Now we are, through working together with Sidetrack, able to offer unique access to these passengers in an advertising first for Europe”.