The Making of the Hubble Tube Adverts

Lucy O'Connor
Lucy O'Connor|Updated January 15th 2019

vasiliki

If you begin your new year commute wondering about how you can change your office space – you’ll end it with the answer. Today signals the launch of our first ever tube advertising campaign! For the whole of January, you’ll see our 4,400 adverts in every tube, in (pretty much) every carriage, across the whole London tube network. So, next time you’re on the tube, look up from your phone and look out for our purple ads.

Whilst you will see the finished glossy adverts, you won’t see all the hard work that went on behind the scenes. So, we’re going to give you a glimpse into what it takes to create a large-scale advertising campaign, from the initial idea to the finished product.

Whilst most campaigns of this magnitude take on average 2-3 months, the Hubble team pulled it off in just over one month. It was a great team effort; everyone helped out, from the sales team to the marketing team, to our in-house Hubble models. We spoke to some of the Hubble stars to find out what went into creating the adverts.

The Big Idea

Initially, we approached advertising agencies to come up with some creative concepts for the campaign, however, the concepts weren’t in line with the Hubble vision. That’s why Tushar, our CEO & Co-founder, and Hanna, Head of Marketing, decided to run the campaign in-house; because who can communicate the Hubble story better than the people on the inside who live and breathe it every day?

So, our wonderful Art Director, Vasiliki and her creative partner, Simon worked extremely hard to come up with three new concepts in just three days. They then pitched the ideas to Tushar and Hanna who jointly agreed on which concept to go with.

Vasiliki, how did you come up with the idea for the campaign?

Vasiliki: My background is in copywriting, so my ideas come to me through copy. Simon and I brainstormed ideas for the copy and then we came up with a visual mood board for the campaign.

Our ideas and concepts were product driven, because we wanted our first big advertising campaign to demonstrate what we do. We have such a vast platform, you can search for anything from ergonomic chairs, to offices with childcare – and we wanted this to be reflected in the campaign.

Finding Locations

There was only one week from not having anything confirmed in terms of location to the shoot day. So the team was under pressure to select the best office spaces for the shoots, visit these spaces with our photographer and then arrange a date for the photoshoots.

We spoke to Hanna, Head of Marketing, who oversaw the whole project and arranged the locations.

How did you choose the different locations?

Hanna: It was really difficult choosing locations because we have so many unique, beautiful workspaces listed on our platform. The sales team really helped to narrow it down; they made a shortlist of some of our top listings that exhibit the variety of workspaces on our platform.

From that list, Vasiliki and I selected Halkin Tower – Monument to shoot the beautiful views over the river Thames, we chose Fora – Borough to showcase an office with cool breakout spaces and we selected RocketSpace – Angel to photograph their ergonomic chairs. We also chose Cuckooz Nest – Farringdon to advertise offices with child care and The Nest – Wapping to photograph their pet-friendly office.

blog 2

What happened next?

Hanna: I then reached out to the office managers at the different locations and requested viewings, explaining the concept and the benefit of having their office featured in the adverts. Unsurprisingly, people were very responsive given the exposure their workspace would receive. I then went to view the different locations with Vasiliki and Danny, our photographer, to decide where we would shoot the photos in the different buildings.

How did you find the process?

Hanna: I was really happy with how quickly everything came together, it shows that teamwork and organisation pay off. I also really enjoyed viewing the different spaces and getting to know some of our hosts, who were really welcoming and helpful.

From Idea to Imagery

The photoshoots took place over two days and they went very smoothly, thanks to the help from our hosts and our amazing Hubble models Chai, Hannah, Charlie, Hanna and Leslie. We spoke to Danny, our brilliant photographer, to find out what happened behind the scenes.

What happened on the day of the photoshoots?

Danny: Vasiliki and I had preplanned our shots for each space, so on the day, it was a case of getting to the location, getting the camera set up and then working on making sure the space looked its absolute best. Each shot was about 75% setting up and 25% actually taking the photos.

Did you face any challenges?

Danny: Each office was a live environment, so the most difficult part was shooting around the residents. We carefully chose our shoot time, crew and kit to minimise the disruption to the people working there. The hosts and office managers were really helpful, so that made our lives a lot easier. In particular, Matt, Marketing Manager at Halkin, was extremely helpful and actually stepped in last-minute to model for us.

Did you enjoy shooting the campaign?

Danny: I really enjoyed shooting the campaign and working with the Hubble team. I even got my little dog Bruce in one of the shots!

blog 3

Post-Production 

After the shoot, the team had to get down to the nitty-gritty: select and edit the photos, finalise the overall design of the adverts and deliver the final assets to the printers. This whole process happened in just under two weeks(!) We spoke to Vasiliki to find out what happened and what challenges she faced.

Vasiliki, how did you choose which images to use?

Vasiliki: Each image we used was carefully selected based on three parameters; images that naturally matched the copy in the headlines, images that allowed enough space for the headlines and images that portrayed the office space in the best light.

Did you face any problems post-production?

Vasiliki: We shot the campaign in the run-up to Christmas, so there were Christmas trees and decorations in some of our shots. As the campaign is going live in January, we didn’t want there to be any hint of festivity in the adverts. So, with some clever manoeuvring and retouching, we made sure there wasn’t a tree or even a bauble in sight. Danny actually spent a whole day photoshopping a Christmas tree out of an image… if you look really closely you might be able to see where it used to be.

blog 4

How did you reach the final advert design?

Vasiliki: We tested a variety of design layouts and for our campaign, the simple layout of horizontal storytelling was the most compelling one. This layout allows the audience to read and engage with the short story whilst sitting on the tube.

The Launch

The campaign launched today and will be running for a whole month. We cannot wait to see the adverts on our morning commute.

tube ad

Danny, are you excited to see your work on the tube?

Danny: I can’t wait to see our work on the tube and I’m excited to see other people’s reactions to it. I’m really proud of the photos we produced and how they look with the design and copywriting which make up the final ad.

Leslie, how do you feel about seeing your face on 4400 adverts?

Leslie: I’m really excited to see our adverts in person but I think it will be strange seeing my face on the tube every morning. I hope someone I know recognises me…  having said that, I’m not sure I’m ready for the fame.

Vasiliki, did you enjoy the whole process?

Vasiliki: I loved it! There were some stressful moments (given the short timeframe) but I loved seeing the idea come to life and being so involved in the production process.  I’m very proud of everyone for coming together and helping to make something so special.

We would love to see your reactions to our tube adverts! On your next commute, take a picture of your reaction to our adverts and send it to us on social. The best reaction will be suitably rewarded…

If you want to check out the offices featured in our ads, or you want to search for more offices with great views and bars for after work booze, click here:

hubble-search-banner

Find your perfect office

Search 1,000s of office and desk spaces across London and Manchester. Book your viewing now!

Search Offices

Sign up for more (work)life-changing insights