5 Ways to Experiment With Outdoor Advertising

One of the things that most of us were robbed of the last few years in addition to dealing with the Covid pandemic, was the opportunity to enjoy all the things that came with being in transit. For many, random impromptu road trips or cross country, sometimes even international, flights were essential parts of their lives. One of the most striking things about being a traveler, even semi-regularly, is the sheer amount of transit advertising on display. From the first Lord & Taylor sign panel on street cars in New York City in the mid 1800s to nowadays voice-enabled advertising and digital billboards, transit advertising has become ubiquitous with normal life – especially now as the world is trying to return to pre-2020 activity levels outside of the comforts of their home. Because of this, companies are looking for all types of methods to keep their brands in the forefront of the minds of the, now, commuting populace. But after spending so much time keeping, outside of home, interaction to the bare minimum; People are now ready to be engaged by interesting concepts and ideas again. Companies, and by extension their marketing agencies, are now more willing than ever to experiment with outdoor advertising, more specifically transit advertising, But how would a company know what are all the various types of transit advertising and more importantly what are the features available, to each, which could be used to make an impressions on people on the go and wherever footfall traffic is high. What follows is a breakdown of a few of the current transit advertising options that potential advertising companies should take steps to experiment with moving forward.

What Are Different Types of Transit Advertising Currently Available?

  1. Think about how many people would like to earn money every time they jump in their car? Now think about how many times has a vehicle with an advert caught your eye? In these times it would be wise to set up multiple income streams to combat the uncertainty of the current and future economy. So, that is why so many people are trying to make a little extra income by placing an advert on their vehicle. Most advertisers would love to take advantage of an underused, in comparison,method of promotion by offering ordinary citizens the ability to make extra money. Through this mutually beneficial arrangement, advertisers use these transit adverts to get their message seen all across their city while drivers sign up to make money to do something they already do. One of the main advantages of car wrap advertising is that unlike other mass transit advertising media vehicles such as buses, which are limited to specific routes, a car generally has no boundaries and can virtually travel anywhere. Each car would have their wraps specially designed. The formats vary between panel, partial and full. Depending on the marketing budget, and a company’s appetite to make a splash, QR codes and/or Augmented Reality might be incorporated within the wrap’s design.
  1. Same rules apply for companies advertising with the personal car wrap as does with the taxi car wrap except for the fact that taxis are mostly more likely to penetrate both rural and urban locales repeatedly each day. Companies have been proven to be more than willing to use both the exterior and interior formats available with the taxis. The most common external taxi advertising feature, in the United States, is the taxi top external display. This display feature is  most popularly associated with large condensed cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Chicago. Important to note that taxis are available to the public 24 hours a day and the taxi top display is normally pretty hard to miss as it is at eye level. There are both static and digital taxi top options which both have some of the same features however differ in certain ways. The static display features material that is designed to withstand all possible weather elements while the digital display contains 2 LED faces per taxi top. Both taxi top displays are backlit to be visible at nighttime.   
  1. With the nature of the coronavirus being what it is, for a long time large groups of people have been discouraged from gathering in one place much less being allowed to travel en masse through the normal methods of public transportation. But with the wide distribution of vaccines and a stricter observance of the health protocols, mass transportation has almost returned to pre-pandemic proportions. Traveling by train is not only an efficient mode of transport but sneakily a quite effective way for companies to promote their messages. Companies can get their brand story heard by using the waiting areas, platforms at the station, and within the trains themselves. Because of each of the trains’ schedules, it may behoove a company to take special attention to how much time people spend on trains and what engages with the audience and time of day the audience tends to be the most captive. The difference between railway train media advertising and subway media advertising often is the commuting times so if it is train car cards, posters or digital units, the placement of these ads is certain to get the impact the advertising company desires.
  1. Buses have specific routes, which essentially means that potential advertising companies could use population statistics and metrics to target potential neighborhood markets that they feel would align with their products. Buses also have a tendency of increasing the number of “unique” or “first-time” visuals experienced by commuters and general passersby. Bus advertising also provides stunning, eye-grabbing vehicle graphics that would get easily noticed. Bus advertisements are versatile enough to appear on the back, on top, and even inside of the bus and can be placed with many different variations. Simply put, bus advertising has the ability to fit whatever’s required by the marketing department of the company advertising. 
  1. Airports have had the same renaissance of activity in the last few months as have the train stations in major cities. Maybe the only difference between the two for the potential advertiser is the ability to advertise on the exterior of the actual mode of transportation – well at least not quite yet. But apart from that most of the same rules, and methods of advertising, from advertising in and around train stations apply with the difference maybe being because air travel is still very much a privilege and less likely a part of a person’s daily commute, companies advertising might trend more along the lines of luxury or at least be considered exclusive or exceptional. It is because of this why transit advertising at airports are so heavily digital based. These adverts are not only dynamic but also tend to be quite interactive as companies compete to stay ahead of the rest. Digital kiosks, Digital restaurant tablets and Digital video screens are only a few of the examples of the enterprising mediums available to potential advertisers. With the especially gaudy ‘spectacular’, which are normally light boxes that could be as large as 15 feet in width, as the most expensive transit advertising options available at airport locations. Other unique advertising options that airports provide are luggage pushcarts and baggage claim displays; both could be cost effective options that might catch the odd traveler’s eye.  

2022 and beyond should bring about more and more different ways for advertising companies to utilize the transit marketing options available even more. As all new innovations have been absorbed by the transportation industry with the aim of pushing transit advertising to the next level. Smart companies will see the bright future in transit advertising and will spare no expense in investing in this only growing trend.

Annika Bansal

Annika "The Chick Geek" is the founder of AnnikaBansal.com. Small Business Sense shares small business ideas, tips and resources for independent Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners.