When it comes to outdoor advertising media one of the most key objectives is making an impact on your target audience. But the modern urban streets are saturated with advertising making it tougher than ever for marketeers, brands, and businesses to stand out from the rest. Whether they manage this is not just dependent on their advert content, a lot of success lies in the medium they choose to work with, and recently, one type of media that has been having great success is Escalator Step Branding.

What is Escalator Step Branding?

Escalator Step Branding involves installing graphic panels over the body of the escalator to advertise a brand or business. As the escalator moves up or down, the steps sink and emerge forming an interconnected image when viewed face on. This can also include imagery for the glass or metal sides, handrails, approach and exit flooring transforming the escalators into an immersive and experiential outdoor advertisement.

Escalator Step Branding has existed for several years, but recently has become more commonplace, and can be seen in many public domains from transport hubs, airports, railway stations, underground stations, hospitals, hotels, stadiums, shopping centres, department stores, retail stores and many more… MotionIcon UK & Europe is the leading experts in Escalator Step Branding and has a global presence.

Motion Icon UK and Europe Out-of-home Advertising

Where did Escalator Step Branding come from?

The idea to use physical installations as collateral for advertising dates back many years – we’ve been advertising on posters for centuries. This has resulted in outdoor advertising becoming more affordable and accessible than ever, every time we leave our home we are exposed to multiple brands and adverts simultaneously.

What this means is it more essential for brands and businesses stand out even more than before – being seen isn’t enough anymore, you need to be noticed. Creating campaigns that capture the attention of consumers is vital, and using the right medium is one of the most important elements of this.

This is where Escalator Step Branding comes into its’s own. Escalators have been in use since 1896, but only comparatively recently have their steps been used as an advertising medium. This has been growing in rapidly in recent years and is now recognised by brands and businesses as a valuable and unique advertising medium.

What makes Escalator Step Branding unique?

The uniqueness of Escalator Step Branding is the main reason for its rapid growth in popularity, and there are a few things that contribute to this. As with any form of advertising, the most valuable qualities of any particular medium come down to how flexible and receptive it is to various creative concepts, and how effective it is at making an impression on potential clients or customers. Escalator advertising accomplishes this in different ways:

Antman and the Wasp, Escalator Advertising, Westfield London

Creative possibility

As any form of advertising can be creative, the one thing that sets Escalator Step Branding apart is the way its physical application opens itself up to unique possibilities when it comes to the actual design of the graphics themselves. What this effectively means is that the unique shape of escalator steps, and the fact they are moving, means all kinds of designs can be used only in this kind of installation.

These can include graphics that play with the idea of ‘motion’ by taking advantage of the rising or falling steps creating a form of animation or stop motion result. You could also use the element of the ‘revealing’ caused by the steps appearing and falling to gradually tell a story or reveal a message.


In this digitally connected world, advertisers are not the only people sharing the word about a brand or business; consumers are some of the most valuable advocates for any given campaign, through online social networking. Simply meaning when people see a brilliant, unique campaign, there’s a good chance they’ll take a photo and share it across social platforms.

The outcome could escalate the effect when it comes to exposure and means the potential visibility of the campaign is extended far beyond seeing an installation. Escalator advertising extends the format’s potential and creates a natural talking point. It’s more likely than other formats, such as billboards, to get people photographing or filming it, and sharing it amongst their friends.


When it comes to Out-of-Home Advertising Escalator Step Branding is a high impact, huge footfall concept which generates information messaging, as well as high returns for your chosen marketing campaigns, directly in front of your captive audience.

Escalators in most parts are is installed as an alternative to staircases and customers will gravitate towards it. The footfall on escalators in public places is huge, and the dwelling time (how long people are stood on it) is also valuable: the average time it takes someone to approach and get on an escalator is 60 seconds, with an average of 30 seconds travelling time – leaving plenty of time to take in escalator campaign.

Escalators are typically installed in places such as transport hubs, airports, railway stations, underground stations, hospitals, hotels, stadiums, shopping centres, department stores, retail stores and used to manage pedestrian traffic up and downstairs and where it’s important to regulate footfall for safety – which usually means places where there are lots of consumers.

Why is it becoming a popular way of out-of-home advertising medium?

Escalator Step Branding is becoming more of a ‘go-to’ form of Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising than ever before and this is largely due to the advertising marketplace is so saturated, any means of creating something unique that hasn’t been done before is seen as a valuable opportunity.

A brand-new movement is taking place with escalator graphics and marketeers, advertisers, facilities managers… are acknowledging the potential of escalators in public spaces and this is now becoming a valuable tool outdoor advertising opportunity.

Liverpool One-Shopping Centre OOH Advertising Escalator Campaign