Why public transportation is a good choice for advertising

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As we live in a fast-paced world, travelling by public transport is the most convenient way to commute to and from work. Because advertisers do not wish to miss out on any opportunities to market their brands, advertising on public transportation is one of the most effective marketing strategies. Furthermore, it gets even more difficult to ignore an ad when riding on a bus, cab, or any other vehicle since the ad is always in front of us. 

Advertising on transit offers a lot of leverage since it can be shown to commuters from different age and income groups. So you see, transit advertisements are logical! Their services are cost-effective, and the designs are clear, and creative. 

While commuting, commuters have nowhere to go, and a typical commute lasts about 30 minutes, so they spend their time viewing advertisements, making this one of the best advertising strategies.

According to the Neilson research, out-of- home (OOH) is the most effective medium for generating online traffic as a whole. The research also explains that online activations such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram generated by OOH are four times higher than expected based on OOH’s relative ad spend. 

Transit advertisements- or let’s call them large mobile advertising devices- have proven to be successful at reaching large numbers of people as they increase brand recognition and awareness among the targeted audience. In a study by Outsmart and Top Media, people recall ads they see within 30 minutes of going into a store. An OOH ad and especially a transit advertisement, does a better job of grabbing the attention of the audience. 

Whenever starting a new campaign, it can be beneficial to study a demographic to understand the audience bus advertising can reach. 

Above is a comparison of bus users and non-bus users. The data shows that commuters from low and middle income are more frequent bus users, whereas people with higher incomes tend to use buses less frequently i.e. around 8% of people with over 55k a year use buses. 

That’s the magic created by OOH advertisements! 

In this article we will look into some reasons why we should opt for public transit as a marketing method.

New Customers

Considering the fact that public transportation travels from place to place, it can reach 90% of a market segment. Whether it’s densely populated areas, busy malls, or residential neighbourhoods, public transportation reaches each part of the community.

Advertisement Placement Strategies:

The placement of an advertisement inside or outside a bus, cab or train is not a concern since there are many places to display the advertisement, such as interior signages, side panels, and rear-facing placements. Depending on the marketing budget, you may choose to wrap the entire bus in your theme and create moving billboard advertisements or to purchase one side of the bus to deliver your message. You can be creative considering the parts of the buses as well as the fact that they are affordable and cost-effective.  

In order to visualize some creative ad placements, here is an example:

What if bus wheels were skateboards? Yes, You heard that right! 

The X Games in Munich in 2013 hired Kit Walter Associates to design the advertisement and develop this exciting idea of making the bus wheels into  skateboards. The design of the campaign was incredibly exciting and eye-catching, and it was a truly remarkable advertisement. 

In support of the DVD release of the first season of AMC’s hit show “Hell on Wheels” in 2012 this bus was modified to look like an old train on the streets of New York.

All Eyes on the Advertisement

When you watch a 15-ton bus driving down the street with the most colourful adornments, it is impossible to turn your back and ignore the message. An idea like this certainly grabs your attention and leaves a lasting impression on people that pass by. Moreover, whenever the bus passes by the message will be seen several times a day, making it memorable.

Unlike stationary billboards, transit advertising moves along rapidly, so people will not get many chances to read it. Making use of vibrant, yet simple colors for your message is an effective way of making your ad campaign stand out. 

Transit Location Planning

Most of the time, people commute to work from one place to another; therefore, it is a great marketing strategy to play around with the placement of advertisements within the bus or train. In this case, the indoor areas of the bus are the best for the advertisement since you can access a website via a link or a QR code. In addition, studies indicate that people like to conduct searches following an ad.

Now that we have seen the reasons why we can choose transit advertisements, let’s talk about some of the strengths of the transit advertisements.

Strengths of Transit Advertisements

Just imagine you are sitting in a long-seated, boring bus drive that is super crowded, all you can do is stare aimlessly out the window. However, if you see the colourful, bright ad banner above your head there is a good chance that you will think about what you have seen after you get off the bus. That’s what makes transit advertisements so appealing. 

Taking advantage of transit advertisements allows brands to be at the forefront of consumers’ minds when they make a purchase. Because of transit’s mobility, transit advertisements can run longer, enabling your brand to reach more people. If the advertisement is seen more often, consumers are more likely to remember its message. The cost-effective transit advertisement is no doubt a smart idea for the marketers to advertise their brands and make it an eye-catching moment for the targeted audience. 

Transit advertisement does not target one specific segment since it promotes awareness of every brand, service, and product. Additionally, it sometimes builds an emotional connection to topics such as environmentally-friendly products, non-profit communities, and religious themes. Additionally, kids also appreciate the bright, colorful, and long-lasting transit advertisements especially when marketers are using cartoon characters to advertise. You see, transit advertisements are for everyone!

COVID-19 and Public Transportation

Last year, following the outbreak of Covid-19, everyone experienced an unpleasant time. Changes in the pandemic lockdown rules led to a significant reduction in human mobility and daily activities, which significantly impacted every industry sector. 

Since Jan. 13, 2020, Apple has been using mobile data to map routing changes. According to Apple, transit requests dropped sharply from February to March, but walking and driving have since returned to pre-pandemic levels – or higher – in many parts of the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, driving is up 4%, while New York City is up 37% since January. Moreover, geopathic data indicates that people are travelling. The number of Americans who travel farther than one mile each day has grown to 76% as of Oct. 5. It appears that from April to October, the average number of miles travelled daily has risen in many states by at least ten miles.

With many people staying indoors due to the pandemic, more people kept their eyes on the world when they left home. As a result, they long to get outside and to experience things in person again. Furthermore, the exhaustion from screen-based entertainment also caused people to leave their homes more frequently, allowing marketers to advertise on billboards and transit. 

There is already a strong case for OOH’s value. People are getting outside as much as possible. They miss their old lives, and they are eager to get outside and to have in-person experiences. OOH’s value is already clear!

Wrap up

If you want to reach the entire public, we know what you need; it is public transit advertising. The Canadian Out of Home Marketing and Measurement Bureau (COMMB) conducted a study that indicated 1 out of 4 Canadians used transit to commute between one place and another. As well, this study showed 22% of commuters used buses and 13% of commuters used trains. While many people ride public transportation every day to work and commute, it’s challenging to keep your eyes off the advertisements placed in front of them. 

Bus advertisements are effective due to the high reach and ability to connect to people emotionally and because of the advertisements’ attractiveness, which keeps us engaged for a long time. As a result, it’s an excellent way for marketers to advertise on transit, and no doubt public transportation is here to stay.

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