A Guide to Transit Advertising

Are you looking for the best way to get a great return on investment of your advertising budget? You may want to give transit advertising a try. It is one of the best ways to advertise your business locally since it puts your name and message right in front of your potential customers or the people you are trying to influence. Unlike advertising on the web, transit advertising cannot be spoofed, and it combats the growing problem of digital fatigue.

Transit advertising can effectively boost the visibility of your local business or spread awareness for your cause or event. Moreover, it can be quite budget-friendly so that even the smallest businesses and organizations can benefit from its usage.

What Is Transit Advertising?

Transit advertising is a form of outdoor, or out-of-home (OOH), advertising that uses vehicles and transportation-related facilities to display promotional messages or advertisements. You can use these ads with various modes of transportation, ranging from buses, cars, trucks, and taxis to subways, trains, and even airplanes.

This form of advertising can take different forms, including wrapping an entire vehicle with an ad, placing ads on the exterior or interior of the vehicle, or displaying ads on digital screens inside the vehicle. Transit ads can be static or dynamic and targeted to specific demographics and locations.

Businesses and organizations often use transit advertising to reach a broad audience, increase brand awareness, and promote products or services. It can be particularly effective in urban areas, allowing advertisers to reach commuters and travelers during their daily routines.

General Advantages of Out-of-Home and Transit Advertising

Wide Reach

You can use transit advertising to reach a large and diverse audience, including people who may not be exposed to other forms of advertising. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), 90 percent of US travelers have noticed out-of-home advertising in the past month, and 80 percent have seen OOH ads in the past week.

chart showing reach of out-of-home (OOH) advertising

As people spend considerable time traveling to work, school, or leisure activities, transit advertising offers an unparalleled opportunity to engage with potential customers who are often on the move and not necessarily browsing the internet or watching television.

Consequently, this form of advertising can effectively penetrate markets that might otherwise remain untapped.

Reach Targeted or Segmented Demographics

You can use transit advertising to target specific demographics. This means that you can ensure that your ad is seen by people likely to be interested in your product or service.

For example, Americans with higher incomes are among the most likely to use ride-sharing services, according to Gallup. About 41% of Americans with an annual household income of $90,000 or more report using ride-sharing services. So, if you want to target this group, you may want to consider placing ads in or on cars driven by Lyft or Uber drivers.

chart showing the percent of people who use r-de-sharing services by income


Transit advertising can be cost-effective because you only pay for the space you use, and you can target your ads to specific demographics. For example, you can start a local advertising campaign for under $50 with BuyMyBumper if you have a design.

Also, if you use some type of signage, card, or flyer, the cost to produce the materials can be pretty low – and you can reuse the creative for other projects.

Combats Digital Fatigue

Transit advertising is primarily an offline, non-digital medium. As a result, it provides a break from the constant barrage of digital ads and notifications that people often experience on their devices, reducing digital fatigue.

Commuters often have time to kill during their journey. Transit advertising engages these individuals by providing visual stimuli that can be consumed without digital devices.

Transit ads also have a physical presence in the environment, making them more memorable and impactful than digital ads that disappear once you close an app or webpage. This tangibility can help messages to resonate better with consumers.

Drives Online Activity

Transit advertising reaches a captive audience, as commuters often spend significant time. This creates an opportunity for advertisers to capture their attention and drive them online.

Encouraging users to share their experiences with the advertised product or service on social media can amplify the message and increase online activity. This can be achieved through hashtags, social media handles, or contests.

A clear and compelling CTA in transit advertising can encourage commuters to visit a website, download an app, or engage with a brand online. Consistent branding across transit advertising and online platforms can help build brand recognition, ultimately driving online engagement.

Integrating transit advertising with other marketing channels, such as social media, email, and search engine marketing, can create a cohesive and unified message, driving more online activity.

chart showing how out-of-home advertising increases online engagement


Travelers are typically a captive audience with limited entertainment options, making them more likely to engage with transit advertising. Transit ads on vehicles move around, catching people’s attention in various locations throughout a city or region. This constant movement adds an element of surprise and novelty to the ad, increasing its chances of being noticed.

Eye-catching visuals and creative designs in transit advertising can pique the interest of commuters, prompting them to take immediate action or search for more information online. A study by OAAA found that OOH advertising increases the effectiveness of digital search by over 40 percent.

Flexible and Versatile

Part of transit advertising’s flexibility is due to its variety of formats, such as signs and bumper stickers, interior cards, station posters, digital screens, and more. This allows advertisers to choose the best medium that suits their specific needs, budget, and target audience.

Depending on the budget and campaign goals, you can scale transit advertising up or down. Advertisers can choose to advertise on just a few vehicles or opt for a more extensive campaign covering an entire fleet or transit system.

This form of advertising also allows for short-term or long-term campaigns, allowing advertisers to align their campaigns with specific events, promotions, or seasonal trends. Content can be updated quickly and easily, allowing advertisers to keep their messaging fresh and relevant.

Common Types of Transit Advertising

Bumper Stickers and Exterior Signs

You can use bumper stickers and exterior signage on many types of vehicles, but they are usually associated with cars. If you want to get the most bang for your dollar using this advertising form, don’t limit yourself to just your company and personal vehicles. You can also rent bumpers of other cars, such as those used for ride-sharing and making deliveries.

When you advertise on a car, you essentially turn it into a mobile billboard that can travel to different parts of your city or even state. This type of advertising is relatively inexpensive and can be a very effective way to reach new customers.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using bumper stickers and exterior sign advertising on vehicles. First, make sure that your ad is clear and easy to read. You want to make sure that people can see your ad from a distance and that they can understand what it’s trying to say. Second, choose a design that is eye-catching and attention-grabbing. You want your ad to stand out from the other cars on the road, so make sure that it’s something people will remember.

Using bumper stickers and exterior signs on vehicles can be a great way to promote your business or organization. If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to reach a large audience, this type of advertising is definitely worth considering.

Here are some of the benefits of using bumper stickers and exterior sign advertising on vehicles:

  • It’s a cost-effective way to reach a large audience.
  • You can target your ad to specific demographics.
  • Your ad can be seen by people all over the city or state.
  • It’s a great way to promote your brand or organization.
  • It can help you build brand awareness.
  • It can generate leads and sales.
  • It can help you reach new customers.

Interior Cards, Signs, and Flyers

Interior cards, signs, and flyers are a popular form of transit advertising. They are placed on seats, in overhead bins, or on the backs of seats of cars – or drivers of the vehicles may pass them out. You can use them to promote a variety of products and services, including businesses, events, and charities.

Interior cards and flyers offer several advantages over other forms of transit advertising. They are relatively inexpensive and can be targeted to specific demographics, making them a versatile form of advertising.

Here are some tips for creating effective interior cards and flyers:

  • Make sure your ad is clear and easy to read. You want to make sure that people can see your ad from a distance and that they can understand what it’s trying to say.
  • Use eye-catching graphics and colors. You want your ad to stand out from the other cards and flyers on the vehicle.
  • Keep your ad concise. People are busy and don’t have time to read much text. Get your message across quickly and effectively.
  • Use a call to action. Tell people what you want them to do, whether it’s to visit your website, call your phone number, or buy your product.
  • Consider using a branded hashtag to unify your message across multiple marketing channels.

Vehicle Wraps

Vehicle wraps are a great way to advertise your business on the go. You can use them to cover the entire exterior of a vehicle or just a portion of it. You can customize vehicle wraps to fit your specific needs, and they can be a very effective way to reach a large audience.

While you can use vehicle wraps to promote a wide range of products and services, they are not quite as flexible as some other forms of transit advertising since the initial cost may be high and they are difficult to remove.

Moreover, vehicle wraps may be illegal in some areas. Be sure to check with your local government before using this form of transit advertising.

Bike Advertising

Bike advertising is a type of outdoor advertising that uses bicycles to carry messages or promote products and services. It is a relatively new form of advertising, but it has quickly become popular due to its low cost and eco-friendly nature.

You can use bike advertising to reach a large audience, as bicycles are a popular mode of transportation in many cities. It can also target specific demographics, as people of all ages and backgrounds can ride bicycles.

There are a variety of ways to do bike advertising. One common method is to use bicycle billboards. These are large, eye-catching signs that are mounted on the sides of bicycles. Another approach is to use bicycle posters. These are smaller, more portable signs that can be placed in strategic locations.

Despite their advantages, bicycle advertising usually has a limited reach. Also, the signs and posters have a short lifespan – they will eventually wear out or be damaged and must be replaced.


Billboard advertising is a form of transit advertising that uses large billboards to display messages or promote products and services. Billboards are typically placed in high-traffic areas, such as along highways or near major intersections. Still, they may also be strategically placed in a localized area to attract a specific demographic.

Billboard advertising can be a very effective way to reach a large audience. They are seen by millions of people every day, and they can do a great job of creating brand awareness and driving sales.

Due to their size, you can get creative when advertising on billboards. You can use them to tell a story, create a visual pun, or simply get your message across in a unique way.

Transportation Facilities

Transportation facilities are a great place to advertise. Many people often see the ads and can be a captive audience. This means that people waiting for a train, bus, or taxi are more likely to pay attention to your ad.

There are a variety of ways to advertise at transportation facilities. You can place ads on the facility’s walls, benches, or seats. You can also hand out flyers or coupons to people as they are waiting.

While this may be a cost-effective form of transit advertising that has the potential to reach a wide range of people, you will probably compete with other ads for premium space. Also, travelers waiting at these facilities may have a short attention span, so your ad must be concise and to the point.

Digital Transit Advertising

Digital transit advertising is a form of online advertising displayed on digital screens on vehicles, especially those used for public transportation. These screens can be found in buses, trains, and subways. Digital transit advertising is relatively new, but it has quickly become popular due to its ability to reach a large audience.

You can use digital transit advertising to promote a variety of products and services. It can also be used to raise awareness about a particular cause or issue. This form of transit advertising is a very effective way to reach people on the go. It also allows you to target specific demographics.

Compared to other types of ads, digital transit ads can be a costly form of advertising because you must pay for the space on the digital screens as well as the cost of creating the ad. Plus, since there are so many other ads on digital screens, it may be difficult for yours to stand out.

Which Format Is Best for You?

With so many choices, it may seem a little daunting to decide which forms of transit advertising are right for your local business, organization, or cause. If you need some help wading through your options, or if you just want to get a quote on one of the campaign types we offer, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about transit advertising. We’d be glad to help!

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