Bus Advertising vs Car Wrap Advertising: Which Is Most Suitable for Your Brand?

Advertising can be a tricky game – from an outside perspective, it can seem like it’s all fun and games trying to come up with quippy copy, eccentric designs and eye-catching ideas. But planning a full-scale advertising campaign takes an exceptional amount of time and effort, not to mention the amount of budget it can eat up.

There is no clean-cut answer as to where and how your company should invest their precious marketing funds, especially because the possibilities when it comes to advertising are seemingly endless. Bus advertising, billboards, digital ads, flyers, sponsorships, direct mail materials, social media ads – these are just a few of the dozens of places you can advertise your brand or business. The final decision will ultimately depend on your specific goals, budget, audience, mission and communication strategy.

Advertising on vehicles and public transportation can be an excellent choice if you’re looking to reach as many eyes as possible, and can be especially impactful if they’re driving through a bustling freeway or metropolitan area of a busy city. Bus advertising and car wraps are two of the most popular forms of transportation advertising – but which one is right for you? Here are a few important things to keep in mind as you make your decision:

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Consider The Route

When deciding whether to invest in bus or car wrap advertising, an important thing to keep in mind is where, exactly, those vehicles are most likely to be traveling.

Bus advertising can come in a couple of forms: bus wraps (which are displayed on the side or back of the bus) or an ad that lives within the bus itself (and thus is only seen by passengers). If you’re opting for a bus wrap, it’s recommended to consider the routes buses in your area may take. For instance, if your company has a physical store or office space, see if there are any bus lines that stop in front of your building and consider investing in a bus wrap. Helping people recognize your brand name and then make it tangible by introducing them to your physical location is an excellent way to get returning customers – just don’t forget to put both your website and cross streets on the bus wrap.

Car wraps are a bit more versatile in that you can count on a larger number of people seeing them as they drive around the city. Car wraps are often found on taxi cabs or other work vehicles. If your brand’s physical location is in a bustling part of town, you can’t go wrong advertising on a car wrap.

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Consider the Wear-and-Tear

Let’s be honest: how often do you see a city bus and take notice of how new and clean it looks? Buses are often put through the ringer and exposed to the elements more quickly than smaller vehicles. Because they carry so many people to so many different parts of town, there’s no telling what they’ll potentially be exposed to. It’s common to see bus wraps that are peeling off, discolored or even vandalized, which is important to keep in mind if you’re putting a decent investment into them.

Cars are obviously exposed to city and weather elements as well, but it’s easier to clean a car and keep it parked in a space that’s safe from taggers or uncontrollable elements.

Consider Your Brand and Audience

When selecting a placement for any type of outdoor advertising, you have the opportunity to be really clever about how you’re communicating with potential viewers.

For instance, is your brand an app that people might enjoy using when riding public transportation? If so, bus advertising is calling your name. Bus advertising can also be a great option if you’re hoping to add a QR code to your ad, since they make longer stops than cars and can more easily be scanned by a rider or someone standing near a parked bus.

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If your brand has anything to do with driving, navigating the city, meeting new people or simply navigating the big city lifestyle, a car wrap will support your goals well.

Let The Numbers Speak For Themselves

As with any other advertising investment, one of the most important things to consider is how many eyes will actually be on the ad itself.

According to a 2019 survey, 64% of people surveyed said they’d paid attention to a car wrap within the past month, versus 44% of people who said they paid attention to a static billboard.

Advertising on public transit, on the other hand, has been shown to reach 83% of commuters on weekdays and 69% on weekends.

The last thing you should note is the average cost of each type of advertising. The cost of bus advertising can run anywhere from $2,500 a month in a small town to upwards of $10,000 a month in a major city. The cost of wrapping a car completely depends on the size and model of car you’re wrapping – however, generally speaking, compact cars cost around $2,000 to wrap and luxury cars can be anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.

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