May 3rd 2016

How Effective Are School Bus Ads?

            Businesses are always looking for new and fresh ways to advertise to their consumers. Billboards, mailers, newspapers, TV ads, social media, public buses, and other forms of advertising have established themselves as the go-to advertising media. However, as consumers catch on to these forms of advertising, they find ways to mute, turn off, or avoid ads altogether.

Word on the street is that there’s a new development in the world of outdoor advertising— a new law in the state of Utah to allow businesses to place ads on school buses.

The law was created to help school districts find new ways to raise money for textbooks, teachers, and programs that don’t fit the budget. With tax caps limiting their income for school funds, school districts are searching for new sources of income. This is where advertisements on school buses come into play.

The law allows school districts to contract ad agencies to do the dirty work of selling, printing, installing, and maintaining the school bus ads for a cut of the revenue. Schools keep the majority of the proceeds.

Besides being a family oriented branding experience, and presenting a great way to get consistent, daily exposure to neighborhoods, there is still one question that remains: How Effective Are Bus Ads?

The Arbitron National In-Car Study, 2009 edition, examined the purchasing decisions of America’s mobile consumers. Almost 2,000 people were interviewed about their travel habits and how they’re influenced by various forms of social media.

According to the study, American travelers spend more than 18 hours per week on the road. Chances are during this time, they absorb more information then what exit comes next.

While this study is primarily focused on billboard advertising, the numbers are still applicable to other forms of outdoor advertising. Overall, the study showed that onlookers “make shopping decisions while in the car.”

·      68% frequently or sometimes make their shopping decisions while in the car
·      38% make the decision to stop at the store while driving home
·      24% say they were motivated to visit a particular store that day because of an outdoor ad they saw
·      24% said they immediately visited a business because of an outdoor ad they saw

Although sometimes we may not purchasing a physical product, we are still aware of the information these outdoor ads are giving us.

·      58% learned about an event they were interested in attending
·      58% learned about a restaurant they later visited
·      56% talked about something funny they saw on an ad while in a car
·      44% said they were reminded to tune into a radio station
·      About 25% noted the business’s contact information or location

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t write down the phone number and address of a restaurant every time I pass an ad while in the car. There’s simply not enough time, and the repercussions could be quite catastrophic. Instead I do what anyone who wanted some information would do… I’d google it.

According to a BrandScience Global Econometrics Study from 2013, outdoor advertising increases digital and social interactions by 212%. While it may not always directly contribute to an increase of sales, outdoor advertising focusing on increasing brand image and recognition.

Advertising on school buses associates a brand with the community and families. What better way to show a consumer that you are a great business than showing your values?

 

Olenski, Steve. "Does Outdoor Advertising Still Work?" Forbes. Forbes Magazine. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.

 

May 1st 2016

What’s Up With School Bus Advertising?

 Outdoor advertising has been around for as long as people have been selling things. Businesses advertise virtually everywhere— at bus stops, in stores, on billboards, on city buses, and even on people wearing costumes waving signs outside of their stores. In such a competitive advertising climate, the question arises: How can my business cut through the clutter?

 A newcomer that hopes to answer that question is school bus advertising. School bus ads work similarly to public transit ads, in that you place a sign on the outside of the bus and it circulates around town. However, school bus ads offer several advantages over transit ads. Below are three reasons why school bus advertising stands out from the crowd.

1.     School Buses are Built to be Noticed

Being noticed is a key element of a school bus’s design. Because they transport such precious cargo every day, everything from the school bus’s color to the big stop sign that swings out are made to catch drivers’ attention.

 Yellow, interestingly enough is the most noticeable color, even more so than red. According to ColorMatters.com, “lateral peripheral vision for detecting yellow is 1.24 times greater than for red.” People cannot help but look at a huge, bright yellow bus driving down the road.

 Of course the first goal of any advertisement is to get noticed. If this is not accomplished, precious ad dollars are going to waste. To get noticed, put ads on one of the most noticeable transit vehicles that exist: the humble school bus.

 1.     School Buses Offer an Emotional Connection

 School buses offer something that few other advertising media can offer: an intrinsic emotional connection. When people drive past a billboard on the highway they think of the content of the ad. There is no emotional connection to the sign itself.

 On school buses, your advertisement is coupled with something that transports a parent’s child. This creates an instant emotional connection with the message.

 Effective advertising evokes strong emotions. Happiness. Empowerment. Nostalgia. Sadness. If you’re not reaching the heart, you’re not advertising. With school buses the very medium itself already works to create these strong feelings in those who see it. In this sense, school buses are a powerful way for your business to connect with your customers.

 1.     Advertisements Pop on School Buses

 School buses present a clean and slow-moving space to place an advertisement. Transit buses are littered with uneven windows, ridges, and cracks that make an advertisement nearly unreadable. Billboards have about 5-8 seconds before the driver has blasted past it, and who knows if the driver was even paying attention.

When you pay for your ad space you want to make sure that it will be seen, and the longer duration, the better. School buses provide just that. They are a solid, attention-grabbing yellow, with perfect driver level space for advertisements. They move at slow pace, constantly stopping, requiring all those around them to stop as well. An advertisement on a school bus can’t help but be noticed, and recall will be better than other traditional forms of outdoor advertising.

 Advertising is constantly evolving. School bus advertising is an untapped medium that businesses can use to create an emotional connection that is perhaps unique to outdoor advertising.

 Sources:

1.     http://www.colormatters.com/color-matters-for-kids/why-are-school-buses-yellow

2. http://www.adweek.com/prnewser/emotions-advertising-how-we-connect-to-brands/118515