Bus branding can be explained as advertising a brand on any public or private bus. There are several types and methods of bus branding that will be discussed later. In the beginning of bus branding, only government schemes and public interest messages were advertised on buses. But as private buses started to rush through the roads of Bangladesh, many brands and businesses started using bus branding to advertise their products and services as well.
Advertisements involving a bus can be roughly divided in the following categories -
There are, of course, some other methods of bus branding that don’t fall in any of these categories. For example, larger and popular brands of buses sometimes advertise their sponsors or brand partners by designing a special uniform for their employees or by providing a souvenir that contains the brand’s name.
The most common ones that are seen in Bangladesh are back panel advertisements and interior cards. Whereas they are powerful advertising methods, it can be almost no time before they wear down and get torn up. Torn up interior cards are neither effective nor pleasing to anyone.
LED screens installed in a bus can be another effective medium of bus branding. It is possible to provide entertainment to the passengers while advertising brands in this method. But on the other hand, unlike exterior advertisements, they only target people who are riding the bus leaving a large chunk of potential consumers in bus shelters and roads. These advertisements can as well be annoying and distracting to passengers and the staff on a bus.
Wrapping a bus with a brand’s advertisement engages a much larger number of people than interior advertisements and highly increases advertisement exposure. Bus wraps are massive, hard to miss, life-sized billboards that carry advertisements around the targeted area. Moreover, they don’t get torn up or ruined easily like posters or interior cards.
Bus branding is one of the most effective media for advertising your brand and here’s why.
Buses are the most popular and highly used medium of transportation in Bangladesh. According to BRTC, they have 973 running buses in Dhaka city. Number of private buses is much higher. Almost every route in Dhaka is covered by one or more bus services, most of which are private. Bus advertising will provide you with massive potential impressions whereas geographic targeting can also be implied. As a bus travels through only a certain route everyday, you can easily target your preferred audience based on the area. And unlike stationary billboards, you won’t even have to sacrifice the mobility and variation in your audience for the sake of targeting.
With the popularity of air-conditioned buses in Dhaka city, more and more people are leaning towards riding a bus making your audience even larger. Buses stay on the road almost all day, from early morning till late in the evening. Compared to billboards that display your advertisement for seconds before moving on to the next advert, bus branding gains you a much higher exposure. They will stay and move in front of your audience’s eyes all day round.
Which advertising medium is the most profitable for your business depends on many different factors. But bus branding, in general, has the potential to gain you a higher ROI than most other media of outdoor advertising. They are large in size and usually at eye-level of the passers by making it almost impossible not to notice the advertisements.
People are usually more receptive of this type of advertisement as they are not intrusive. Viewing an outdoor advertisement is free. It doesn’t cost one either money or internet to look at an advertisement placed on a bus which leaves no reason to ignore looking at it.
With the traffic jam in Dhaka city, people spend a long time on the roads granting a high exposure to transit advertisements like this. This amount of exposure is very likely to cause saturation in the viewers’ minds making them automatically go for your brand while making a purchase.
Bus branding is a great way to boost your sales and brand recall. But it is necessary to choose the bus service and route carefully when planning your campaign. Inter-city buses will provide you with a more varied audience whereas intra-city buses will expose the advertisement to a more targeted region for a longer period of time. It depends on your advertising and marketing goals which bus service is best for you. Of course, a strategically designed colorful bus wrap will gain you a higher amount of impressions than most other advertising media.