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Transit Advertising – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Overview


I recall the time where I saw and began walking towards a bus that looked like a giant beer bottle. I was really thirsty and all roads led me to this Corona road. When I arrived at my destination, I only found passengers who appeared equally distraught and confused as I – “And where the hell is the beer?” we demanded.

Unfortunately, all of us had boarded the public transit system. OK, in all seriousness, I’m stretching the truth a bit here. I definitely didn’t think they were going to be providing me with a Corona on the bus – but cheers to dreamin’.

With that, I think an overview of the first component of this week’s topic (Transit Advertising) is in order.

Transit advertising is a type of Out of Home advertising. In the United States, companies like Titan and CBS Outdoor are behind the placements, and, in fact, the outdoor industry includes more than 2,100 operators in the 50 states.  Moreover, Out of home Advertising “is made up of 100 different formats, totaling $6.99 billion in annual revenues in 2008 in USA.”

Now, as the name suggests, for an advertising tactic to be considered “transit advertising” the media must be placed in some sort of transit system (bus, train, taxi or air). These ads can actually be placed in the station/airport itself, on the tickets, or on the interior or exterior of the moving vehicle or aircraft.

The second component of this week’s topic (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [of Transit Advertising]) is less straightforward. The quality or “goodness or badness” of advertising should be measured by its effectiveness in terms of quantified results – assuming that what the Client wanted was numbers in the first place. Opinions such as “the creative is bad” become irrelevant if the ad is truly effective. I am likely repeating what is already familiar to you, maybe not.

Either way, I believe it’s time to wrap up – pun intended. I’m going to grab a Corona.



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