Love them or hate them, bus bench ads litter the landscape of many U.S. cities.
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Sheer volume alone means they must be effective, right? The dilemma is that your marketing resources are limited and you can't afford to throw dollars away on ineffective forms of advertising. So how do bus bench ads really compare to other advertising options?
The answer isn't as cut and dry as it seems. The effectiveness of bus bench advertising is largely dependent on what you're trying to accomplish and the expectations you have for your ad campaign.
- Print ads. Newspaper and magazine ads are higher priced than bus bench ads; you'll pay for shotgun-style marketing exposure that never actually reaches many consumers. Even if the publication has a circulation of 300,000 or more, only a percentage of readers will ever read the ad. Strategically placed bus benches can be hard to miss, but the downside is that they contain much less information than a print ad.
- Broadcast (TV & radio) ads. Bus bench ads give advertisers more geographic control than broadcast mediums. They also work for your business 24/7 rather working for a few 30 second spots each day. Fewer people will see bus bench ads and your level of creativity will be extremely limited, but you will only pay a fraction of the cost of a TV or radio ad.
- Billboards. Like print and broadcast mediums, billboard advertising is significantly more expensive than bus bench advertising. If your geographic market is located downtown, it can be more difficult to secure effective billboard placements than it is to secure bus bench placements that will be seen by thousands of riders and pedestrians.
- Yellow page ads. The Yellow Pages are a competitive marketplace for small business advertising. Making your ad stand out from the competition can be a challenge. Bus bench ads may not be as accessible as the Yellow Pages, but they enjoy exclusive placements. You won't have to fight with three of your competitors to get noticed at the local bus stop.
- Direct mail. Bus bench advertising is easy. You design an ad, pick a few geographic locations and it's pretty much a done deal. Direct mail is more complicated and involves significant waste that drains your company's bottom line.