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CBS Outdoor’s ‘150 brands’ quiz inspired 1.5 million guesses in just two weeks

CBS Outdoor UK today is today announcing the success of its brand based brain teaser campaign.

In celebration of 150 years of advertising on the London Underground, 115 posters across 78 stations challenged commuters to guess which notable 150 brands have advertised on the London Underground from both product and strapline based clues.

In just two weeks (22nd July – 14th August), the site ( received over 38,000 visits, with users making over 1.5 million guesses.

Over a third of players (34%) started guessing the brands after seeing a 48 Sheet advert on the underground and the same proportion took part as a result of word of mouth; a powerful endorsement and illustration of the value of an audience who, given the right content, will readily share with others. Nearly one third (30%) heard about the game through social media; demonstrating the intrinsic relationship between Outdoor and social media, with Outdoor as the engine and social media as the amplifier. The game reached 99 countries and each player spent an average of 47 minutes on the site.

In the spirit of mutual support and camaraderie, players were invited to use the #150brands hashtag to communicate with other players and share clues. Advertising on London Underground ensured that it reached a unique, hyper-connected urban audience who tweeted about the campaign over 1,000 times, generating an impression of over 1.5 million people on the social network. Furthermore, 39% of all referral traffic came from Facebook or Twitter.

The tricky nature of the puzzle meant only 700 players achieved full marks – one of which has now won a year’s free travel. The game revealed which brands struck gold by creating the most memorable advertising straplines. Maybelline’s ‘Maybe She’s Born With It’ was the most recognisable strapline.

Simon Harrington, Marketing Director, CBS Outdoor UK commented “150 Brands is a great example of what can be achieved with a highly interactive campaign which includes a strong call-to-action and enables people to share content online with their friends and contemporaries.

“Over 30% of commuters played the game on their mobile devices – many of whom would have taken advantage of free Wi-Fi on the underground to do so there and then; while looking for distraction. This is a powerful showcase for marketers who are seeking a meaningful way of engaging with a hyper-connected target audience. After all, 57% of Londoners have a smartphone. The opportunity to engage on the hoof and spread the message is immense. The 150 Brands game provides just an inkling of what can be achieved when you fire up people’s imagination and bring them along for the journey; in this case, the opportunity to involve people in the London Underground’s rich advertising heritage.”

Chris MacLeod, Marketing Director, Transport for London commented, “2013 is a milestone year for London Underground. In celebrating our 150th anniversary with CBS Outdoor, we’re essentially celebrating the making of an icon. Advertising has been there from the beginning and this game demonstrates the significant role it has played in bringing us to this point while providing relevant, memorable and impactful content.”

CBS Outdoor worked in collaboration with creative agency Clinic to execute the campaign.

Top five most recognisable straplines:

Maybe She’s Born With It (Maybelline)

Taste is King (Burger King)

Just Do It (Nike)

It’s Finger Lickin’ Good (KFC)

I’m lovin’ it (McDonald’s)

About CBS Outdoor:

CBS Outdoor is a leading global outdoor advertising company which operates in 15 markets. Its core business is delivering valuable audiences for advertisers through transport and billboard advertising as well as street furniture and retail advertising formats in some markets. CBS Outdoor is also one of the leaders in digital outdoor advertising.

With operations in Europe and China and partnerships throughout Asia and the US, its advertising reaches 60% of the world’s population accounting for 85% of the worlds’ GDP. CBS Outdoor combines this unrivalled reach with deep audience insight and innovations in Outdoor advertising

Matt Fincham


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