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Ads And Media Content On Stairs And Escalators

Let’s cut to the chase. If you do an image search for example using the keywords: ”ads on stairs” you would be shown plenty of images about stairs and escalators with advertisements in them.

To be honest, the first time I thought about them, I thought they were a novel and brand new idea because I haven’t seen such stairs and escalators in my day to day life. But as the Google images show, they do exist.

Right off the bat, we can already see the advantage of these advertising spaces. That is, people literally walk in front of the advertisement which makes it a very effective advertising medium.

This is especially true if the stairs are taller than a person which makes escalators an excellent medium to put advertisements on. This is because escalators are almost always several orders of magnitude taller than a person.


As I have said, in my normal day to day life in such countries as Australia and the Philippines, I haven’t seen any stairs or escalators with advertisements in them. To be honest, what made me aware that they exist is when I watched a walking tour video about places in Japan.

I happen to saw a few videos by the YouTuber Rambalac which showed such stairs. Here is a video which showed an example right at the very first few minutes of the video: 【4K】Quick rechecking Tokyo Shibuya.

As you can see, they’re quite eye catching especially if they’re as electronically sophisticated as what the example in the video has shown. I think I don’t need to emphasize much the value of these advertising medium to advertising companies.

Usually, places that have stairs and escalators that are orders of magnitude taller than people are places that people tend to visit and congregate on like malls and parks. Of course, we can already see the advantage of these advertising mediums to mall owners.

There is no need to explain this. But parks? You might begin to doubt the effectivity of placing advertisements on the stairs of traditionally non-commercial establishments. But the answer lies in the advertisements themselves. Cultural related advertisements would blend perfectly in parks.


If advertising companies would benefit from these advertising mediums, then it follows that the owners of these stairs and escalators would also benefit from these advertising mediums because they own the actual space these advertising mediums occupy.

For example, the mall nearest to my place has four levels with 3 ascending escalators on each of them. As far as I’m concerned, they have no advertisements in them. This means that this mall has 12 billboard sized advertising spaces without them even making money off them.

Assuming they managed to persuade advertisers and companies to rent advertising spaces with them in these escalators, this could mean a potential profit of $1,200 a month should they manage to rent them out for a very modest fee of $100 a month.

This would mean the mall would earn an extra $14,400 a year without having to invest much capital. And this is not the only thing about this, when there’s an escalator, they’re bound to be paired up with stairs. This could mean more profits for this mall.

And this is only for the ascending part of stairs and escalators. What about the descending part of them? Advertisements could be strategically placed on stairs and escalators without endangering people by making them distracted. It’s only a matter of study.


Your company might not be an advertising company, but you can still earn from these advertising mediums. As a graphics company for example, you can directly solicit business from the establishment owners themselves.

A mall may be more responsive to an advertising company because of the money they can potentially earn, but other establishments may not be interested in making money off their stairs and escalators.

A finance company for example who have their own building which contains several stairs and escalators might frown on commercializing them, but may for example like to convey a message to their customers and employees and use their stairs and escalators to do so.

A bank might put messages on their stairs and escalators reminding their customers that their money is in good hands with the bank. Any customer inside the bank which uses their escalators or stairs would automatically be fronted with these messages.

The same goes with the employees of the bank. An uplifting work motto can be put on escalators and stairs to make employees feel better. As a graphics company, you are in a good position to create these visual messages and illustrations and offer them to companies.


As an artist, your client might not be a mall or a company owner, but they can be establishments related to the arts like parks, museums and art galleries. Let’s face it, there are people who simply live and breath for the arts.

They are different as compared to malls and other commercial establishments who are more interested in making money from their stairs and escalators, or from companies who would rather use the advertising medium to influence their customer and employees.

Escalators alone are much bigger canvasses than most big sized traditional painting. Any artist would have a lot of space to work or paint their art which is a big advantage for them. Of course, painting on the surface of a stair or escalator is lot more different as compared to painting on a flat surface.

But considering that there are still plenty of stairs and escalators that are still untouched by art, the opportunities for an artist to profit financially and at the same time to express their artistic side is plenty.

I could even think of a scenario where each step of a stair or escalator is a separate painting in itself. This could be an opportunity for space restricted art galleries to display more of their smaller paintings.


As you may be aware by now, stairs can also contain dynamic images instead of just static ones like pictures. As you have seen by the linked YouTube video in the beginning parts of this article, stairs can also contain video images.

And this exponentially increases the effectiveness of this advertising medium to display even more ads with greater quality and depth. Imagine a wall sized stairs being turned into a giant television which shows movies, shows and advertisements.

This would mean that a simple stair could be used to make passersby stop and watch. This effectively creates an opportunity for businesses within the proximity to the stair to make customers consider them.

Better still, imagine if a stair is interactive. There are technologies out there which react to the slightest vibration. A child can for example step on a step of a stair and immediately the stair can lit up or play a sound.

Imagine if for example this interactive stair is right next to a McDonalds restaurant or even right inside it. Imagine the number of children who would stop walking and just play on this interactive stair. This just means more potential customers for this McDonalds store.


There is one media company who I think would benefit a lot from these advertising mediums. The company that I’m referring is the Bloomberg business news media company. The business news they report are relatively short as compared to the other news and stories that are advertised.

For example, their stock reports can fit into the smallest spaces within a step of a stair. A person climbing a stair can instantly see how much a dozen or more stocks are doing with one look from the base of a stair.

Of course, Bloomberg or some other business reporting company have the option to reserve the highest steps in the stair for their highest paying customers. This is because the top of the stairs are always seen by people the longest as they climb the stair.

But you don’t have to be a million dollar media company like Bloomberg to do this. Even inexpensive LED boards can be effective media technology if it matches the content. For example, stock prices, exchange rates, and the latest stores which offer sales can be displayed with minimal cost.

This means that as a media company, you’re not only an advertising company but a media content producer as well. To emphasize the importance of this information, let’s forget about stairs for a while and take a look at the business of escalators.


According to the website of Allied Marketing Research, the escalator industry would have grown to $5.146 billion in 2022 with a CAGR of 5.3% for the periods 2016-2022. Five billion might not sound a lot, but consider that a majority of escalators do not have ads in them.

Considering that even one percent of this market is worth $50 million, this just means that there’s good money to be made if you ever had the opportunity to turn escalators into advertising and/or media mediums.

If you are now interested in the stair and escalator advertising and media business, perhaps it might be a good idea to connect with construction companies and escalator manufacturing and selling companies.

These two industries would already have a good list of current and past customers for you to sell your advertising and media business to. You can even partner with these companies to sell both of your products as a total package.

This just basically means the for the establishment owner who is a client of a building company or an escalator installation company, you would have also concluded an advertising and media deal as well even before the escalator has been installed.


All this talk about establishment owners might have deluded you into thinking that there’s no market for residential clients. Afterall, it’s hard to think of a home owner placing advertisements on their stairs.

But as has been said, advertisements do not have to be just about advertising commercial products, they can be anything. They can be inspirational words or art illustrations. And we find these two in many homes.

Imagine a businessperson who has favorite quotes that help inspire them to make it through their difficult work day everyday. You as an advertiser, graphics designer and so on can persuade this businessperson to have these quotes painted on their stairs.

You can be creative as much as you want. For example, you can have a timeline of the businessperson’s most important life events painted on the steps of the stairs. This could be their wedding day, the birth of a child and so on.

I can only imagine now that the businessperson won’t forget to buy their partner a gift for their anniversary, or buy a gift for their children. These important dates might even inspire the businessperson to work harder for their family. Be creative, walking a stair can be a walk in time.


More and more escalators are being built as more and more establishments want to attract customers by offering them hassle-free walking on their establishments. It is safe to say that almost all structures that have been built have stairs in them.

The mere numbers of these two multiplied by their sheer sizes as compared to people make them good advertising and media businesses for different groups of people. And the good news is, that they’re underutilized at the moment which means plenty of opportunities.

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