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What is Transit Advertising? - Definition & Benefits

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Catching a ride? How about an advertisement to go along with it? Transit advertising offers marketers a way to reach an audience on the go. In this lesson, we'll explore the concept and benefits of this form of advertising.

Rolling Billboards

Imagine this scenario: You're headed home after a long day of work. As you find your seat in the subway car for the 30-minute commute, you glance up from your phone and see an advertisement for your favorite restaurant. Hungry yet?

Transit advertising can appear on buses, taxis, subway cars and trolleys, or in bus or subway stations.
transit advertising

Transit advertising, whether promoting a good dinner option or a new model of luxury automobiles, can be an effective way for marketers to reach an audience on the go. Let's take a closer look at what transit advertising entails.

What is Transit Advertising?

There are a growing number of advertising options for marketers today. Thanks to the internet, mobile devices and the traditional ''big three'' of television, radio and newspapers, marketers have more opportunities than ever before to get the word out about new products and services.

A sometimes overlooked form of advertising is a type known as transit advertising, which displays your marketing message and advertisement in area of public transit. That could include public buses, trolleys, taxis and subway cars, as well as in subway and bus stations and waiting areas.

Transit advertising meets an audience where they are, even when out and about.
transit advertising

Have you ever seen an advertisement on the side or back of a public bus? What about on top of a taxicab or plastered inside a bus stop on the corner? If so, you've seen examples of transit advertising in action.

Transit advertising works like all other forms of advertising, as a way to help people learn more about your brand or a new product or service you're offering. But, why would you consider this type of advertising over another option? There are several benefits to transit advertising as a viable marketing solution. Read on.

Benefits of Transit Advertising

The benefits of transit advertising as part of your marketing plan are numerous and varied. Consider the following:

1. You can't turn it off, delete it or throw it in the trash. Do you like to fast-forward through television commercials? What about yesterday's newspaper? Do you still have it or did you throw it away? Transit advertising has one major advantage that these traditional forms do not: you cannot turn it off, delete it or throw it in the garbage. It's there in your face for however long you're in that space.

2. It demands attention. Advertisements in a transit space generally have one thing in common: they're big and eye-catching. Due to the oversized nature of public transit (think about large subway stations or the size of the side of a bus), advertisements in these areas are going to be super-sized, which is certain to grab more than a few sets of eyes.

3. You reach a captive audience. If you've ever sat behind a bus with an advertisement for a local grocery store, you understand how blatant transit advertising can be. While you're staring at the back of the bus through a 60-second red light, you're getting a hefty dose of exposure to that supermarket across town that you've never been to.

4. It reaches varied demographics, or different characteristics of people. Are you trying to reach the young professional traveling the subway to work? Or, how about the family using public transportation to check out their new city? Transit advertising allows marketers to reach a varied audience.

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