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Roll Brand Roll: Using Ads On Vehicles (Part 1)

Billboards on wheels: Get your message on the road, to where your audience rolls

CHICAGO — One of my favorite ways to market both drycleaning and wetcleaning plants is via the moving billboard.

Moving billboards — on buses, trucks, delivery vans and taxis — can advertise in places where stationary billboards can’t. However, similar to stationary billboards, moving ads can extend for a few days, weeks or months, and target a specific geographic area.

Typically, the vehicles that carry these ads tend to follow specific routes and offer strategic placement either outside or inside the vehicles to capture the attention of passengers, other drivers and pedestrians along the street.

They can also deliver your message in the same neighborhood or proximity as your competition; in and around busy city centers or shopping malls; and at special events.

Transit advertising exposures can serve multiple goals such as short-term, special-event promotions and long-term brand awareness. Broad market coverage results in relatively low-cost ad repetition and lots of daily impressions!

Remember that good negotiation can bring extra value. Often times, newbie advertisers can procure special deals, rates or packages and with them more bang for their advertising buck!

Here are some tips for transit advertising:


There are different placements for ads depending on who you want to target. Do you want to target the people getting on a bus, driving in traffic by the bus, or pedestrians on the street? If you want to target traffic, advertise on the driver’s side or tail of the vehicle. If you wish to target passengers, advertise near the exterior passenger door or inside.


Less is more, especially when it comes to transit advertising. Moving ads are a quick read so keep the message simple, short and sweet. Your message should be clear, easy to read from near and far, and most importantly, easy to remember.


The ad should pop off the vehicle! Don’t design an ad that’s the same color as the vehicle itself. Know the colors of the vehicles you are advertising on and design your graphic and message accordingly.


Make your design memorable by using graphics that wow the viewers. Use more graphic elements and less words. Incorporate elements of the vehicle into your design or, go to the extreme, and extend your design outside the standard advertising space!

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

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Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected] .