Bus advertising is a great option to consider when thinking through your outdoor advertising strategy because it allows you to easily reach a large target audience. Functioning much like a mobile billboard, placing your advertising on or inside a bus puts your brand on the move. Instead of waiting for people to pass by your ad, you’re reaching out to a specific audience within a certain area of town.
Modern-day bus advertising strategies got their start in the early 20th century when businesses began advertising on streetcars. Today’s ad placement closely resembles what was used back then because it’s still effective today.
Why advertise on a bus?
The answer here is simple: Exposure. Based on the location of your advertisement, you’re appealing to a fixed audience for a longer period of time than other outdoor advertising media types. If your ads are inside a bus, you have a captive audience in the passengers for the duration of their ride. For external ads, you’re within range of passing cars, pedestrians, and bus riders as they get on and off the bus, for longer periods of time when at stop lights, at bus stops, and stuck in the periodic traffic that’s inevitable along most urban bus routes.
How to select your route?
There are a few factors that can contribute to how you pick the bus route you’ll use for advertising and relying on the expertise of an outdoor media company like Effortless Outdoor Media is a great way to narrow your choices down. By conducting a needs analysis with each client, we help figure out the goal of your outdoor advertising campaign and then work to locate the right places to advertise. Having a partner in ad placement is crucial because it saves time and money while ensuring a higher level of success with your campaign, however, some additional things to consider when selecting a bus route are:
Proximity to your business – If you’re advertising locally with the goal of driving people to your business, consider routes close by or even ones that pass your business.
Overall traffic – Maximize the visibility of your ad by selecting bus routes through busy, commercial centers or highly-populated areas to build local brand awareness.
Finding the right bus route to ensure exposure to your target audience will help your outdoor advertising piece reach its full potential.
Where on buses should you place your ad?
There are actually a lot of location choices when it comes to how to advertise on a bus. The goal of your ad and who your target audience is will influence where you put your ad, but options fit into three specific areas:
Side: There are a few types of ads that can go on the sides of buses, including:
Super Sides which are banners placed higher on the side of a bus to be visible above the heads of crowds on the street. This ad placement mostly targets pedestrians in crowded parts of town.
T-Side Banners form a ’T’ on the side of the bus, creating a natural format of the headline and visual. Typically it’s the visual piece of this ad type that most attracts viewer attention.
Street Liners are smaller ads that fit at eye-level on the sides of buses. This ad type is more cost-effective since it’s smaller and can draw the attention of both drivers (think eye level for for someone sitting in their car) and pedestrians closer to the bus, maybe even those lining up to board the bus.
Rear: These are the ads found on the back of the bus, visible to anyone walking on the street or driving behind the bus. Ads in this area mostly reach drivers either intersecting or going along the same route as the bus. Stop-and-start traffic, created naturally along routes with traffic lights and in urban areas, give people more time to see rear-bus advertising, allowing the message to stick in their minds.
Inside: Passenger panels on the inside of a bus near the roof advertise directly to bus passengers. Because they’re located so high up on the bus, everyone riding can see the ad. This location is ideal along heavily-used bus routes where the target audience is more likely to take public transportation than drive themselves.
For those who want to go big, there’s also the option to take over the entire exterior of the bus with a bus wrap. The first commercial advertisement to utilize this strategy is thought to be Pepsi Co. who wrapped a bus in 1993 to promote Crystal Pepsi. This option makes a big statement and is sure to get your brand noticed.
Broadening your reach
It’s important to mention that how to advertise on a bus doesn’t necessarily mean only advertising on a bus. Advertising spaces exist on bus shelters, bus stops, and transit benches as well. Based on your overall strategy, taking advantage of posters, rolling displays, interactive ads, and static ads on the backs of benches may also be beneficial to your brand. Partnering with a company like Effortless Outdoor Media can help establish the best combination of transit ads for your business.
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