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The benefits of bus shelter advertising

If you've ever waited for a bus, chances are, you've waited in a bus shelter. Bus shelters aren't just about keeping us dry when it rains!

We love a bargain, a format that offers a good bang for your buck. But we also love cutting-edge ad technology. Surprisingly, perhaps, one of the formats that deliver that wishlist best is the venerable bus shelter advert.

So we're exploring some of the reasons why bus stop advertising makes it onto so many media plans.

Bus shelter adverts can’t be ignored or switched off. They are an old school interruptive marketing technique.


Bus shelters offer great scalability. A relatively low cost of entry allows local organisations and SMEs access, while the national ubiquity perfectly suits large brands too.

They aren't lazy

Urban areas never really sleep and neither do bus shelter adverts. The integral lighting keeps the ads highly visible (possibly even more so than during daylight hours) through the night. It’s safe to say that the ads never stop working.

You can't ignore them

Bus shelter adverts can’t be ignored or switched off. They are an old-school interruptive marketing technique. That’s not to say the brand behind them shouldn’t seek to curry favour with the audience, but they don’t need to ask permission before delivering content.

They reach a captive audience

Although bus shelter adverts are visible enough to attract a passing audience, they are also obviously placed for a captive one too. For those actually waiting for a bus, a bus shelter advert can include far more info than many OOH ads can as a higher percentage of viewers are there for a longer period.

Take a close look at a bus stop advert and you’ll notice the high, magazine like, production values.

They're almost magazine-like

Take a close look at a bus shelter advert and you’ll notice the high, magazine-like, production values. They are a quality format for any brand to be associated with.

They're a great campaigning tool

Bus shelter posters are a great local campaigning tool. They are on the ground and speak to a local audience – with the added benefit of being affordable enough to alter (and increase relevance) for different locations.

They reach lots of people

National campaigns have the potential to achieve very high levels of reach (the percentage of the population which sees an advert over a given period of time) via the national network of bus shelters, particularly given the low cost compared to other high-reach formats like TV.

They are uncluttered

They are, in the space of a standard, non-digital, bus shelter, exclusive (usually two ads at most share the space). A rarity in your average highly branded urban environment, your brand can ‘own’ the uncluttered space.

They're not stuck in the past

Although bus shelters are a traditional OOH (Out of Home) format, they aren’t stuck in the past. Digital bus shelters in fact are at the very forefront of emerging technology – with Clear Channel having over 3,000 digital bus shelter screens in over 160 of the largest towns and cities nationwide and reaching more than 50% of UK adults (Source: Route 46 -100% share of time).

They are more personal than a billboard, are able to rely on a more captive audience and as a result offer more interaction between digital screen and the smartphone-wielding audience. Measuring ad success is also set to be revolutionised as ‘proof of play’ elements become the norm.

So the next time that you're waiting for a bus, don't just think about keeping dry, take notice of the unsung hero that is the humble bus shelter.

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