Monday, 24 October 2011

Design Production for Print//Bus Shell//Outdoor Advertising.

Starting to look and research into various sources of outdoor advertising to help generate ideas for my promotional campaign of the hypothetical Wes Anderson film festival. Originally, I went to source dimensions for scaling images (though this may have to be done myself- the non-lazy way...) for bus shell advertising, but I came up with other interesting finds instead.

In bus advertising, buses and their related infrastructure is a medium commonly used by advertisers to reach the public with their message. Usually, this takes the form of promoting commercial brands, but can also be used for public campaign messages. Buses may also be used as part of a political or promotional campaign, or as a tool in a commercial enterprise.

Adverts are placed in bus shelters. These can be static posters, or back illuminated displays, or rolling displays allowing many messages on one shelter. Technology has also been used to create interactive adverts.
Adverts may also be installed on associated street furniture such as the backs of benches at stops.


Often, the paper bus ticket is used as an advertising space. The ticket rolls for the ticket machines are pre-printed on the rear with a particular company's advert.

Bus interiors

A common location for adverts is inside the bus. Adverts are attached to the corners between the walls and ceiling overhead to catch the eye of passengers, in the same manner as used in rapid transit systems.
Increasingly, companies are using interior television systems to advertise.

Bus exteriors


Adverts are often placed as basic rectangular motifs on the side or front of a bus. These may be applied directly to the bus. Additionally, adverts may be printed on placards known as boards, which are slotted into special guide fittings attached to the side of the bus.

Partial and full adverts

Occasionally, the entire surface of a bus is turned into an advertisement. This can be a whole side or rear of a bus, or a scheme applied to the entire exterior, known as an 'all-over advert' bus.


Some panel and full side and all-over adverts were traditionally painted on if the length of application warranted it. This would require a reasonable longevity and cost implication for advertisers, due to the requirement to take buses out of service to apply and remove paint schemes. Frequently changed panel adverts would use replaceable boards.
With the advent of adhesive vinyl technologies, this allowed adverts to be rapidly applied and removed over the top of the buses exterior paint as decals, reducing the cost and time.
The introduction of perforated and directionally transparent vinyl sheets allowed the creation of more elaborate designs that could be applied over windows (although for safety reasons not the front window), moving away from the traditional square box design approach to adverts.
With the advent of partially transparent window coverage techniques, all over adverts have been applied as a full vehicle advertising wrap windows and all. The transition from screen printing to digital printing has seen an increase in the color range and complexity of advert designs.

Campaign and Promotion buses

In addition to public transport buses, all-over advert buses are often privately hired specifically for a special promotional use, such as a political campaign or specific product promotions. These will often make use of open top buses to allow the interaction of the campaigners/promoters with the public.

Legal issues

In Norway, the use of wrap advertising on buses was prohibited by the road authorities. The reason behind the ban was that in an emergency the windows might need to serve as an emergency exit, and that the advertising would make the window harder to break with the emergency hammer. Gaia Trafikk argued against the ban, pointing out that their tests showed that the thin wrap had no impact on the breakability of the window, but did remove the advertising which covered the windows.

Out-of-home advertising (or outdoor advertising) is made up of more than 100 different formats, totaling $6.99 billion in annual revenues in 2008 in the USA. Outdoor advertising is essentially any type of advertising that reaches the consumer while he or she is outside the home. This is in contrast with broadcast, print, and Internet advertising.
Out of home advertising, therefore, is focused on marketing to consumers when they are "on the go" in public places, in transit, waiting (such as in a medical office), and/or in specific commercial locations (such as in a retail venue). Outdoor advertising formats fall into four main categories: billboards, street furniture, transit, and alternative.


Billboards are a part of American life, advertising for hundreds of thousands of small businesses. However, much advertising space, especially in cities, is given to multinational consumer brands.
Billboard advertising is a traditional out of home advertising format, but there has been significant growth in digital out of home advertising (billboards and place-based networks) in recent years, with about 1,500 digital billboard displays.
Traditional roadside billboards remain the predominant form of outdoor advertising in the US with 66 percent of total annual revenue. Today, billboard revenue is 73 percent local ads, 18 percent national ads, and 9 percent public service ads.
Street furniture is made up of formats such as bus shelters, newsracks, mall kiosks, and telephone booth advertising. This form of outdoor advertising is mainly seen in urban centers. Additionally, this form of advertising provides benefits to communities, as street furniture companies are often responsible for building and maintaining the shelters people use while waiting for the bus.
Transit advertising is typically advertising placed on anything which moves, such as buses, subway advertising, truckside, and taxis, but also includes fixed static and electronic advertising at train and bus stations and platforms. Airport advertising, which helps businesses address an audience while traveling, is also included in this category. Municipalities often accept this form of advertising, as it provides revenue to city and port authorities.
Finally, alternative advertising includes ads in stadiums, on gas pumps, bike racks, rest areas, and other non-traditional formats. Alternative advertising provides a way to address consumers in places they may not expect.
Street furniture, transit, and alternative media formats comprise 34 percent of total outdoor revenue in the US. Some of these formats have a higher percentage of national ads than traditional billboards.
The outdoor industry includes more than 2,100 operators in 50 states representing the four major outdoor format categories. These outdoor media companies range from public, multinational media corporations to small, independent, family-owned businesses.

Digital Out Of Home - DOOH

Digital out-of-home refers to dynamic media distributed across placed-based networks in venues including but not limited to cafes, bars, restaurants, health clubs, colleges, arenas and public spaces. DOOH networks typically feature independently addressable screens, kiosks, jukeboxes and/or jumbotrons. DOOH media benefits location owners and advertisers alike in being able to engage customers and/or audiences and extend the reach and effectiveness of marketing messages. It is also referred to as Digital Signage.
DOOH also includes stand-alone screens, kiosks, and interactive media found in public places. The availability of inexpensive LCD screens with built-in media players has opened the door for companies to add interactive video messages in Point of Purchase (POP) Displays. The displays allow consumers to get additional information at the moment of decision on a product or service. Growth in the DOOH industry has been increasing in 2009, with more POP manufacturers, advertisers, and content developers moving to digital.

Non-Digital Out-Of-Home

Bulletin - Bulletin billboards are usually located in highly visible, heavy traffic areas such as expressways, primary arteries, and major intersections. With extended periods of high visibility, billboard advertisements provide advertisers with significant impact on commuters.
Bus advertising - Firmly establish brand awareness and generate quick recall with high profile exposure near point of purchase locations.
Commuter rail display - Reaches a captive audience of upscale suburban commuters. Additionally, reaches lunch-time patrons, shoppers and business professionals.
ComPark advertising - ComPark is a device used for car park advertising; which is placed onto the parallel lines of a bay and is able to gain instant exposure from motorists that have just parked their vehicle. The ComPark also serves as a guide to assist motorist in adhering to the parking bay size.
Lamppost banner advertising - Lamp columns are sited everywhere, allowing advertisers and events to use banners to target precise geographical locations and create massive promotional awareness.
Mobile billboard - Mobile billboards offer a great degree of flexibility to advertisers. These advertisements can target specific routes, venue or events, or can be used to achieve market saturation. A special version is the inflatable billboard which can stand free nearly everywhere. This product can also be used for outdoor movie nights.
Poster - Target local audiences with these billboards, which are highly visible to vehicular traffic and are ideal for the introduction of new products/services. Marketers use posters to achieve advertising objectives and increase brand awareness by placing multiple units in strategic locations while lowering the cost per thousand impressions.
Premier panel - Premiere panels combine the frequency and reach of a poster campaign with the creative impact of a bulletin.
Premier square - Bright top and bottom illumination on a premiere panel provide extra impact after dark.
Street advertising - The use of pavements and street furniture to create media space for brands to get their message onto the street in a cost-effective approach.
Taxi advertising - Taxi advertising allows advertisers to highlight their products, whether brand awareness, or a targeted message, directly to areas where people work, shop, and play.
Wallscape - Wallscapes are attached to buildings and are able to accommodate a wide variety of unusual shapes and sizes. These billboard advertisements are visible from a distance and provide tremendous impact in major metro areas.
Other types of non-digital out-of-home advertising include airport displays; transit and bus-shelter displays; headrest displays; double-sided panels; junior posters; and mall displays.

Selling billboard advertising space

If a private property owner wants to sell advertising space to one of the outdoor advertising companies ('media sellers') he or she directly approaches the company. A media seller may also approach the owner of an interesting property and make a bid. The media seller typically requires a long term land lease due to the expense of erecting a new billboard. The private property owner is generally paid an annual land rent. The media seller erects a structure for displaying the ads and rents out the space to the clients. The world's largest media sellers are CBS Outdoor, JCDecaux, Clear Channel Outdoor,and Lamar Advertising.

Regulations on outdoor advertising

Different jurisdictions regulate outdoor advertising to different degrees. In the US, the states of Vermont, Hawaii, Maine, and Alaska prohibit all billboards. Scenic America estimates the nationwide total of cities and communities prohibiting the construction of new billboards to be at least 1500. In 2007, the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, banned all billboards within the city. There are also concerns within major cities about how many billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising are not in compliance with local by-laws, such as this website's database of alleged illegal billboards in Toronto, Canada. However, in the United States, strict laws protect against the taking of property without just compensation, making a Sao Paulo-like action highly unlikely in the U.S.

Emerging Technologies

Media fragmentation, competition from online media, as well as the need for greater efficiencies in media buying prompted companies to offer billboard inventory aggregation services

See also

  • Advertising
  • Billboard
  • Bus advertising
  • Digital billboard
  • Digital signage
  • Flyer (pamphlet)
  • Inflatable movie screen
  • Neon signage
  • Outdoor Advertising Association of America
  • Point of sale display
  • Skywriting
  • Street Furniture
  • Transit media

Found this great website 'Sign Poster' about outdoor advertising. Sign Poster both print and negotiate advertising space for their customers- providing a great, in depth analysis of target markets, searchable "hot spots", locations and dimensions for advertising spaces- from phone boxes to motorway billboards.
A great site, I'll certainly be returning to this at the later stages of my project.


Advertising on bus shelters allows advertisers to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. Most people waiting at the bus stop do not have anything else to do but wait. Reading an advertisement helps pass the time. A well executed advertisement will catch and hold the eye of someone waiting.



Things You'll Need

  • Money
  • Product
  • Telephone
  1. Call the Sales Rep

    • 1
      Contact the advertising authority. Most bus shelters are owned by the government but sell ad space through other companies. Contact information for advertising is normally listed on the actual bus shelter. If there is no information, contact the city's advertising division. The sales representative will tell you the price of your ad on a bus shelter, along with how large the ad will be, and how long the ad can remain on the bus shelter. The rep will also give you statistics on how many bus riders will see your ad and if businesses who advertised in the past have had success from using those particular bus shelters.
    • 2
      Calculate the cost of executing the advertisement as well as placing the ad in bus shelters. An advertising agency creates and distributes the ad, while the sales representative for the city's transit authority just provides the space. Make sure the dimensions of the ad will fit in the allotted space. It will cost more to advertise in a large populated city where people frequently take public transportation than a small town will few bus stops.
    • 3
      Pay the sales representative after a contract has been drafted and signed by both parties. A successful advertising run is large in size, eye catching and in a highly trafficked area likely to be frequently seen by many people, not just those waiting at the bus stop. The contract should be for at least a few weeks and at numerous bus shelters for maximum visualization.


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