We all ride them most weeks; perhaps so frequently that it can be easy to forget that escalators provide an ideal brand implementation opportunity, even if moving stairs probably aren’t the first place that leaps to mind when it comes to branding space.

However, thanks to advances in digital printing over the last 10 years or so, it’s never been easier or more affordable to print and produce large-format graphics allowing design teams to make original and creative use of different spaces, including the areas around escalators. So no wonder escalator branding is becoming more and more popular, despite having been around for some 20 years now – although, interestingly, escalators themselves were only invented in 1897. So facilities managers are increasingly making these spaces available as invaluable advertising opportunities.

Escalator Branding: What’s The Benefit?

This type of branding typically involves fitting vinyl graphics or similar over the escalator body to advertise a business or organisation. Graphics go on the front-facing parts of the steps, while there can also be imagery on the glass bannisters. As stairs move up and down, a coherent image appears when you look face-on, so you can reveal your story and message gradually. It’s this movement and constantly shifting patterns that make escalators such exciting promotional spaces. It’s an exciting way of catching the attention of passers-by and making sure you’re brand gets noticed.

Escalator branding provides a number of benefits, including:

  • A captive audience in high-footfall areas. You can’t help but notice these ads! What’s more, they’re highly visible from a distance and many areas around an escalator can be branded, while escalator graphics brighten up and areas that could otherwise frankly look pretty dull.
  • Length of viewing time: Let’s face it, many of us would rather ride than walk up an escalator or take the stairs. And if you’re on one, you will look at the adverts – it typically takes a minute to approach and ‘board’ an escalator, and then you spend an average of a further 30 seconds on it, meaning people look for longer at the ads, given that there’s nothing else to do, than you may have realised.
  • Unique creative potential: The unique shape of the escalator steps, combined with their movement, means you can use a range of designs that only work in this setting. Combine a striking, original design that makes the most of this format’s huge potential and you are on to a winner.

Areas Where Escalator Branding Works Well

There are a number of settings where escalator branding works especially well. These include:

  • Retail: Escalator branding in a shopping centre or similar setting advertises goods close to where they’re being sold. People often have bags, so will generally take a moving staircase given the opportunity. Use this form of retail branding to promote new offers, products, deals and brands as they arrive, as well as new stores.
  • Station: Again, people often have bags and heavy baggage. Equally, especially in tube stations, the stairs can be very high to climb. The space on the escalator here can be used to advertise different businesses who operate in a station, indicating that these locations are just a few steps away, from restaurants to shops. Another good use of the space is to promote plays and shows at nearby theatres.
  • Offices: While the opportunities for office branding are more limited, you can certainly make use of escalator space at larger sites such as corporate HQs. There are some fantastic opportunities for office signage and décor as part of a wider office branding strategy.
  • Exhibition centres: Here escalators can be ideal for wayfinding graphics, or promote stalls and generally create a more original, dynamic and creatively exciting space.
  • Museums and attractions: At larger venues, escalator branding and signage again provides general branding and wayfinding opportunities, and can also advertise cafes, gift shops or events and displays.

Types Of Escalator Branding

There are more ways than you may have realised to use branding on escalators, and varied kinds of escalator signage, from full-coverage options to other ideas which are striking yet tasteful.

Here are some of them:

#1 Vinyl-wrapping glass sides

You can fully or partially cover the glass sides of escalators with vinyl wrapping to create a full wrap or cut-out shapes with smaller graphics.

#2 Don’t forget the handrail!

Even the handrail can be used in escalator branding! Wrap fully or apply smaller cut-out graphics. The designs can be purely decorative, or provide wayfinding, for example with arrow-cut shapes directing people to attractions, places or promotions on the upper floor.

#3 Stair risers or steps

If you cover the stair risers (the space between one step and the next), you can add extra depth and dimension to your project. Unleash your creativity and design something which creates a bigger message or image as the escalator goes upwards.

#4 Use the skirt panels

This is the area below the handrail. Again, you can brand it fully or partially, and it’s a prominent space so it provides a large area from which you can direct people or push your brand message.

Uses Of Escalator Branding

Escalator branding offers seemingly endless opportunities for branding, advertising and promotion. Here’s a summary of how to make optimal use of the space:

  • Promote new products, special offers or areas of a venue, or new outlets in a station or shopping centre
  • Seasonal promos or decoration – especially at Christmas but also other times of year and special occasions: particularly in shopping centres, escalator branding can be purely decorative to enhance the customer experience
  • Wayfinding graphics – especially at new locations, or for new stores or outlets or in busy exhibition venues
  • General advertising space that would otherwise be unused
  • Use branded colours, logos and graphics on escalator signage for consistency across a space and to reinforce what your brand is all about

Talk To Us About Escalator Branding

At Rocket Graphics, we’re a large-format printing company, so we’re ideally placed to provide full or partial escalator branding. Additionally, we operate across a vast range of industry sectors and projects, whether you need office or retail branding or vinyl graphics for moving staircases at an exhibition. Browse our website to learn more, and get in touch for an informal initial chat, with no obligation to proceed.