The Transit Factor: Driving momentum in outdoor with neuroscience

By APN Outdoor | Sponsored

What exactly happens to our brain when we see something move? Well, evolution tells us that to survive we pay attention to anything in our vision that moves. It’s innate. And it’s part of the reason why advertising that moves, while you are moving about your city, town, daily commute, life, is that much more powerful at retaining memory.

As leaders in the outdoor media space, APN Outdoor have no peer in market when it comes to transit advertising and have known for many years that it works.

People see it multiple times a week, it delivers incremental reach, audiences are continuously growing and advertisers love it. However they wanted to reinforce these attributes and prove to advertisers why.

Why does Transit perform so highly on measures of recall, exposure and effectiveness?

In a research collaboration with Neuro-Insight, APN Outdoor paired ethnography, which is the study of observing real people in their real world, with neuroscience, studying the brain’s reaction to stimulus.

The objective was to compare and identify the key differences between static and moving advertising. As a result they discovered the formula behind the power of movement – the Transit Factor.

 Movement increases memory encoding in the brain and memory encoding increases ad effectiveness. And transit advertising is 20% higher than all other outdoor formats when it comes to memory encoding.


Key findings:

  • Movement triggers activity in the brain and sustains high levels of memory encoding, ultimately increasing ad effectiveness
  • This relative movement between the pedestrian/driver and transit ad formats, means that recall of transit advertising is 20% higher than all static/non-moving outdoor formats
  • Longevity in market compounds this effect via increased exposures
  • Transit media is relevant, dynamic and viewers’ brains anticipate what’s next

The study analysed over four billion data points, with subjects exposed to moving and static ads, and the only relative difference was movement. All of the results are being presented around the country as part of a national roadshow. Get in touch with APN Outdoor to learn more about it or send any questions about semiotics, ethnography or the neuroscience to Neuro-Insight and The Lab.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus