Guangzhou subways showing tailored ads

2024-06-14 11:30:56China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

From birthday wishes and dating profiles to resumes, a variety of personalized advertisements have been popping up on electronic screens called lightboxes in metro stations in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province.

"Personalized advertisements not only bring a sense of novelty to people's daily commutes but provide a platform for self-expression for many 'e-people', a popular internet term referring to individuals with outgoing personalities," said Li Jing, a marketing manager with Guangzhou Metro Media Co.

The vibrant advertisements seen in subway stations were produced by the company's personal advertising business service, which was launched in January, Li said.

The company has so far completed over 100 such ads.

"The original intention was to create an interactive platform between subway media and the passengers," Li said.

The service was launched on a WeChat mini-program developed by Guangzhou Metro Media and Guangzhou Metro Resources Operation and Development Co.

It has become one of the top trending topics on Chinese social media since netizens began sharing multiple screenshots of personal ads posted in subway stations, with many featuring distinctive content such as resumes and dating profiles.

Thanks to its down-to-earth, life-oriented approach, the personalized service has received positive feedback from the market, and the lightboxes have been dubbed by netizens as "E-people Screens".

"For my husband's birthday, I surprised him with a subway advertisement," said a netizen surnamed Wu.

In the two months leading up to her spouse's birthday on April 23, Wu had been searching for a unique way to celebrate it.

"By chance, I discovered that birthday advertisements could be placed in the Guangzhou subway stations, so I chose to surprise my husband in this way," she said.

Wu finally selected the Tianhe Park station near her home to display her birthday wishes. She paid 666 yuan ($91.81) to display the message for five days on one lightbox.

During the display period, Wu took her son and husband to the subway station to take a family photo with the ad. "My husband was very surprised, and I was very happy," she said.

As Wu's husband is more reserved, he didn't dare stand in front of the lightbox for too long, feeling awkward if passersby paid too much attention to it, she said.

Wu added that she can envision other related services that would make the ads even more attractive to prospective clients.

"If the metro company could have organized some small offline ceremony to go with the ad, I would have been willing to pay for that as well," she said.

Prices for the ads are based on advertising locations such as lightboxes and station pillars, as well as the exact duration of the ad placement. The prices range from 380 yuan to 999 yuan.

Those who want to buy ads can visit the WeChat mini-program, choose from various types of lightboxes at subway stations and select the advertising period. They can also access information on passenger flow and the distribution of advertising formats.

The metro media company said it has developed a fairly comprehensive review mechanism for the personalized advertising business and is determined to respect the privacy of its users.

"When it comes to using personal information on the ads, such as using portraits, we must obtain the individual's authorization," Li said.


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