I spent the past weekend in London, and a good part of that weekend travelling around on the undergroun. CBS Outdoor is rightly defending the heavy presence of billboards around the tube, citing research that claims about 9 in 10 people like the ads. I can see why because they're usually of higher standards than what we normally have in the streets around here, or maybe it's just the sheer abundance that ups you chances of meeting anything worthwile.
Anyhow, they seem to have come up with some new technology there as well: rows of small billboardlike screens next to the automatic stairs, fully capable of displaying moving imagery. I was not impressed... instead I was baffled by the silent view of inane people dancing to silent music in a silent subway station in a silent 3 or 5 second ad, whereafter T-Mobile claimed that 'Life's for sharing', all in silence... Give me back my witty words, my funny posters, and even the occasional idiotic Musical hyperbole (I successfully avoided visiting one again)!
Deeply underwhelmed by their latest attempt to tempt me I came to work this morning, only to find a link in my inbox (from the Frankfurt-London colleagues) to the real thing: a gigantic flashmob dancing to, get this, music you can hear, in a subway station (Liverpool street to be precise):
So don't go screwing it up by trying to reuse it in a different media format which is not suited at all. I doubt that if I would feel any different if I were to see the moving imagery (did I say there's no sound?) again after seeing this film.
How many euros, pounds or dollars must you throw away before you realise that you don't need to do the same bloody thing in every media touchpoint you have. I love the whole flashmob/dance/film thing, and it makes a great tv or online ad if you've got the time, and I love the witty posters you used to have in the subway. But don't go mixing them up... I don't mind that they're two different things, I don't mind if the fonts are not the same, I don't mind if you portray different people on the sub compared to your telly ads. I like brands that get their message across in the most suitable way, and that depends on what you use to talk to me at what time.
For the final time (wishful thinking, I know...): consistency and coherence should be found in a strategic idea around your brand, not in executional similarity.