What is Bus Advertising & How Much Is It?

What is Bus Advertising & How Much Is It?

Digital advertising is a great method to target specific demographic groups—however, when you talk about brand awareness, there’s no substitute for physical ads.

With many people hesitant to gather in large crowds, how can you reach large audiences with engaging, creative out-of-home advertising?

Bus advertising—the practice of placing ads on and inside buses—offers the space and the reach you need at an affordable price. Public transport offers a vital way for riders to get from point A to point B, and passing buses serve as movable billboards reaching pedestrians and drivers alike. Whether you are using bus, taxi, or airport advertising, all of these modes of transportation are excellent opportunities for your campaign. That means your bus ads are guaranteed to reach your local audience.

If you’re curious to know more, continue reading to find out bus advertising strategies and costs.

1 Metropolitan Council. Regional Transit Ridership Shaped by Global Pandemic. https://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Transportation/Newsletters/Regional-Ridership-Report-2020.aspx

City Bus Advertisement Types and Placements

Exterior bus ads are perfect for creative, large-scale, and colorful designs that can catch a bystander’s attention from far away.

Regardless of the size and creative scope of your ads, buses have enough space to accommodate your vision.

Since ads can be placed almost anywhere on a city bus, you get to choose from several available options. Bus ad placement options include:

  • King – This long exterior advertising option, running on both sides of the bus, presents your ad beneath the bus’ windows and between its wheels.
  • Queen – Don’t need as much public transportation real estate? A queen ad generally runs on the bus’ curbside. As the name suggests, it’s slightly more petite than a king, extending from a door to a wheel (or equivalent length).
  • Kong – A kong is the California King of bus ad sizes, extending on the entire length of the bus between wheels.
  • Wrap – Need even more real estate? An entire bus can be covered and re-branded to announce your message from every angle.
  • Taillight – Have something smaller in mind? A taillight ad runs between the taillights at the back of a bus.
  • Interior Cards – Interior Cards are posted on the rails inside of the bus above the passenger seats. These allow for long viewing time for passengers on their commutes.
  • Shelters – Bus shelters are a great way to not only target the people awaiting their pick-up, but also to the passing traffic.
  • Benches – Reach both pedestrians and drivers at eye-level with bench advertising. They live along the backrest of the bench.

Which ad is right for you? The smaller options offer a chance for timely, seasonal ads while larger ones can easily be seen from afar and can offer more impactful messaging.

Exterior vs Interior Bus Ads

Want to reach bus riders?

Ads can also be placed inside the bus on video screens or posted above the interior windows. Although small in scale, these ads can have big rewards.

  • Since buses move through residential and commercial districts, you can infer demographic information about a particular route’s riders and target your ads accordingly.
  • Passengers in your target audience will see your ad for their entire bus ride, making them more likely to take interest and engage with the message.

The Benefits of Bus Advertisements

We’ve already covered the potential to target your specific audience through public transportation advertising, albeit in a different way than digital DOOH (digital out of home) ads .

Likewise, there are some other notable differences between digital and in-person advertising. When you’re watching your smart TV, ads abound—but so do opportunities to “skip” and fast-forward past them.

In contrast, out-of-home advertising gives your business full control over what consumers see and how they interact with it. Unlike online ads, bus ads and billboard ads are impossible to skip or scroll past.

That means this type of transit advertising comes with the additional following perks for your campaign:

  • Brand awareness – Instead of microtargeting specific demographics, you’ll expose your brand to a wide audience, including bus riders, commuters, taxi drivers, pedestrians, and even the outdoor diners watching cars and buses roll by.
  • Longer ad exposure – Customers seated inside the bus will have plenty of time to peruse text-heavy interior ads. This is a great opportunity to introduce refined messaging or interactive experiences like games and QR codes.
  • Extra space – It’s hard to fit your entire product line or platform into a single Instagram square. In contrast, expansive space gives you the ability to deliver a creative and memorable ad.

Bus ads are perfectly designed to market to a large group of consumers in a direct and digestible format that is both compelling and impossible to miss.

The Cost of Bus Advertising

How much is it to advertise on a bus?

Interior ads can range from $25 to $125, while exterior ads can run from $100 to $6,000 and up.

What accounts for this wide range? The bus ads cost you’ll pay depends on the following factors:

  • Geographic location
  • Placement on the vehicle
  • Size of the ad
  • The number of buses you use for the ad

Generally, prices in big cities like New York or Los Angeles will cost more than in smaller cities. Along with that, smaller ads are less expensive than those that wrap around the whole vehicle.

Reach Consumers Anywhere and Everywhere with True Impact Media

Bus advertising is a great method to spread brand awareness through both large-scale, creative ads and information-dense, captivating interior ads. Whatever route you choose, your bus advertising confers all the benefits of in-person advertising at an affordable price.

How much does bus advertising cost in your area? To get the best rate, work with True Impact Media. We provide you with the access, resources, and information you need for your business to gain exposure.

To find the perfect location within your budget that will reach your target demographic, get started by filling out this quick and easy form. Whether you’re setting up an account or requesting a demo, we’re here to help you in every step of the process.


GainBuzz. Cost of transit advertising. https://www.gainbuzz.com/resources/portfolio/cost-of-transit-advertising/

Metropolitan Council. Regional Transit Ridership Shaped by Global Pandemic. https://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Transportation/Newsletters/Regional-Ridership-Report-2020.aspx

GainBuzz. Cost of transit advertising. https://www.gainbuzz.com/resources/portfolio/cost-of-transit-advertising/

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