According to research by TGI, bus advertising is the most prominent out-of-home (OOH) advertising medium, with 61% of consumers reporting that they had seen at least one form of bus advertising in the last week.
With such ubiquity and high levels of consumer engagement, bus adverts are one of the best ways to get your message out there. For businesses of all sizes, they provide an affordable option for generating leads and building valuable brand awareness.
By offering unparalleled convenience and affordability, buses are a vital part of the UK’s public transport network, with 29% of adults using bus services for at least an hour a week. As a result of this extraordinary user base, the bus advertising industry is now worth in excess of £2 billion per year.
However, for the small- and mid-sized business, finding a route into bus and transit advertising can prove difficult. That’s where an advertising agency like Media Buying comes in. Our network of media buying professionals has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help you achieve your bus advertising goals.
Contact us today to see how we can help your company. And in the meantime, why not take a look at our guide to all things related to bus advertising.
29% of adults in the UK use bus services for at least one hour per week.
61% of consumers have seen at least one form of bus advertising in the last week.
35% of 25 to 34-year-olds have noticed bus advertising in the last week.
There are many great reasons to consider bus promotion as part of your next ad campaign. Take a look below for a run down of just a few.
Bus adverts are seen by a huge audience, with 30 million people across the UK seeing bus ads in the last seven days. And that’s not just passengers: from people waiting at bus stops, to pedestrians on the high street, to car drivers – they are all potential consumers!
What’s more, bus advertising targets a huge range of consumer demographics. 35% of 25 to 34-year-olds have seen advertising on either the inside or outside of a bus in the last week, while bus advertising, in general, has been found extremely effective at marketing to a C2DE audience.
Furthermore, when it comes to rear advertising, ads on buses are seen by the taxi driver just as often as the Porsche driver; this huge variability in the audience makes bus advertising one of the best OOH advertising formats around.
With the myriad formats available to advertisers, bus advertising offers fantastic potential for scalability.
For the small- or mid-sized business, there are several low-risk, low-investment routes and printing options available, while for the larger company, there is the option to run full wraps on buses across an entire region.
What’s more, research has shown that certain bus ad formats (headliners in particular) often deliver to advertisers added overshow value once their official campaign has ended.
Buses are the ultimate mobile billboard: week in and week out, they travel through local towns, suburbs and rural locations, as well as city centre and shopping areas that other traffic can’t access. And, with external bus ads, they are at the same time promoting brand awareness and building consumer familiarity.
In many cases, advertising in these high-footfall locations would be out-of-reach to a local business. Billboards in high street and shopping areas, for example, often command extremely high prices. For a company on a tight advertising budget, bus advertising allows for the option to hit these areas at a low cost.
The vast majority of bus journeys in the UK are handled by one of the “Top 5” operators: Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead, National Express, and Stagecoach. These businesses operate routes throughout the UK.
At Media Buying, our professionals build connections between our clients, their brands, and these inventory owners, allowing campaigns to sprawl out from a local area without the need to negotiate complex new deals.
Buses emit far less CO2 than a car or personal vehicle and take up far less space on the road.
As a modern business, you want to do all you can to stay eco-friendly – bus advertising is a fantastic way to show green credentials, as well as your support for public transportation.
When it comes to bus advertising, there are a huge number of media options available. But the first thing to decide is where you want your ads to appear: bus exterior, bus interior or bus shelter. Let’s look at these options in more depth:
Nicknamed “the pedestrians’ notice board”, streetliners are positioned at eye-level on the side of a bus.
Commonly 10–13 feet in length, the streetliner works best for simple, clear, concise printed media and brand messaging.
The most popular form of bus advertising is the super side, which adorns most commercial double-decker buses and provides excellent visibility throughout towns and cities.
T-sides are an alternative option for many double-decker buses, allowing for additional area and design possibilities that are hard to ignore.
If you want your message to have the most impact, a full-side ad is ideal.
Full-side adverts cover the entire side of the bus (including glass window and door areas), using a high-quality perforated cast vinyl to create a stunning, eye-catching finish.
Super square ads employ the same vinyl technology as full-sides, but with only a portion of the bus’ side covered.
This allows the same creative potential as a whole side, but with less up-front investment.
Bus rears (or bus backs) are ad panels placed on the rear side of a bus.
Bus rear advertisements are great for clients who want to target a wide range of consumers at a relatively low cost.
Like full sides and super squares, super rears (single-decker) and mega rears (double-decker) utilise printed cast vinyl to cover the whole back side of the bus.
Headliner panels are commonly placed above a window, flanking either side of the bus where the walls meet the ceiling.
These lightweight ad panels offer low production costs, easy installation, and, in many cases, significant overshow value once your official campaign has ended.
You might wonder how it’s possible to advertise on a bus seat. Well, from branded headrests to digital screens, bus seat advertising is perfect for the company that wishes to advertise on a popular route.
Whilst often best suited to those with a large marketing budget, it’s the ideal way to achieve maximum impact.
As more and more passengers go digital with their tickets, this form of bus advertising is slowly fading out.
However, there are still a lot of opportunities there on certain routes, particularly for companies who wish to advertise with lower investment.
Like interior bus adverts, the options for bus shelter and street furniture advertising are growing all the time. Let’s look at the two main options for bus shelter advertising:
Found in shelters up and down the country, classic bus stop advertising campaigns focus on simple printed posters.
The 6-sheet poster (1800 mm x 1200mm) is the common industry standard, though in larger bus shelters, bus depots, and train stations, the 16-sheet poster (3048mm x 2032mm) is sometimes found.
Digital bus shelter advertising is a more recent addition to the world of bus advertising.
Unlike traditional poster adverts, digital ads are displayed on LED screens inside bus shelters. These ad panels offer incredible options for engaging with customers, with many units able to provide location-specific content accessed via the internet.
Whilst most commonly found in London and other major UK city spaces, digital bus advertising is sure to become more commonplace in the future. If your brand campaign has a high budget, digital shelter advertising is well worth your consideration.
For more info, take a look at our dedicated article on bus shelter advertising.
One of the questions we hear most at Media Buying is how to go about actually creating visual campaign materials – naturally, if you’re investing time and money into developing a bus advert campaign, you want to make sure you have the best artwork possible.
At Media Buying, we work with a team of creative professionals that have the tools, experience, and industry know-how to ensure every advertisement is visually perfect, hitting every key benchmark to ensure maximum impact and return on your investment.
You want your artwork to catch the attention and capture the imagination of all those who are exposed to it.
While a full bus wrap makes it easier to get noticed, a creative designer can deliver inspiring digital media for any display option.
Does the artwork paint your brand in the right light?
There are many printed media formats available, but you want to make sure the method of advertising is right for your company and its image.
Is your advert trying to promote a specific product? Maybe you want to build traffic for your website? Perhaps you just want to tell customers your brand messages?
Whatever your goals, our designers will strive to ensure they are achieved. This goal-oriented approach means we never choose style over substance.
As you can see, advertising on buses can offer brands promotion and awareness-building opportunities like nothing else.
At Media Buying, we are proud to be the agency of choice for businesses of all sizes. From the local startup to the national chain, Media Buying takes a bespoke approach to all our clients’ bus and public transport advertising campaigns.
We take a collaborative approach to strategy-building, working closely with you or your marketing team to understand your aims, your needs, your expectations, and your budget.
We will give you our industry-beating advice and recommendations, ensuring your campaigns yield the results your company deserves.
Our small team have developed route research and locality analysis strategies that you won’t find anywhere else.
We provide precise geographic targeting services to clients across the UK, ensuring your vehicle or shelter advertisements are seen by high levels of passengers, pedestrians, and motorists.
Retaining the media buying services of Media Buying is an investment, and we are dedicated to ensuring that investment is a good one.
We pride ourselves on taking a responsive and flexible approach, providing the highest levels of service to all our clients, no matter their size or budget.
Contact us today to discuss your bus advertising campaign. We can’t wait to get started.
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