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Selling Advertisements On Trains, Buses And Tunnels Infrastructure

Advertising revenues are astounding. Google and Facebook for example have become the most richest tech companies and for that matter in terms of global companies in the world. This is largely because they derive their billions in ad earnings.

And thanks to digitization technology like billboard sized LCD screens, even larger home televisions which could show split screen views, more and bigger ads can be shown directly to people by advertising companies.

And advertising revenues have no way but to go up. The global media is almost globalized now, there are more chances for business to gain more local and international customers. The downside of this globalization is that it means more competition for the same set of customers.

Before, a small business still have a chance to survive even without advertising. Today, it’s a totally different scenario. Advertising has become almost a must-have tool. Just take a look at the majority of books being sold in Amazon. Without advertising, a book there would find it hard to find a buyer.


In a way, advertising is already omnipresent. People dress and make their appearance to look as pleasing as possible in order to attract social and to a lesser but not much degree of financial connections.

This is the reason why the fashion industry is a billions of dollars industry and is often highlighted in media. But the sheer number of things that can be advertised is astounding. In fact, every human and everything on earth can be advertised.

As I have told before, advertising started as soon as humans knew the importance of selling. Our primitive cavemen ancestors for example, would advertise their hunting and strength skills in order to attract a female mate and maybe even attain a leadership position within a group.

But let’s concentrate on what is formally called advertising these days which is advertising on a media. And in this case, there is almost infinite media where an advertisement can be placed upon.

From paper and clothes, advertising is already present here. Vehicles? Advertising is already here. Even the bottom of planes have become not safe from advertising. It seems that everywhere you turn, there is an advertisement plastered.


At least with paper advertising like newspapers and magazines, when you close these media you don’t see the advertisement anymore. With printed advertising on billboards and posters, as soon as it gets dark, you don’t see much of the advertisement anymore.

But surprise of surprises. Advertising agencies came up with the idea to put lights on the printed billboards and posters so that you could even see the advertisements even very late at night or 24/7.

Then digital screens appeared and more ads are shown with stories, longer advertising time and much more brighter and ever changing colors. The ads can even track you now. Advertising agencies have now managed to target more directly their target consumers.

Of course almost everyone knows what I’m talking about, if you happen to search for a particular product you want to buy from an e-commerce store, there is a high likelihood that you would receive advertisements for the same or similar product later.

And this is the way advertising is headed, towards digitization, but rest assured paper printed advertising won’t go away. For advertising agencies, it is simply so much more cost effective and convenient because all you have to do is plaster an advertisement on a physical surface.


As you can see, advertising as a subject is so big that it would almost certainly need a thick book just to get a beginners idea of it. But it’s no secret, people hardly look at advertising. In fact, most people are turned off when seeing advertising.

For example, how many times have you seen people walking or people driving on cars stop to admire an advertisement? It seems that for most people, advertisements are an intrusion in their lives.

This is the reason why there are advertising agencies who put a premium on any media that can make people look at an advertisement not only to notice it, but to look at it for a long time and even study it and the product being advertised.

In short, if you are involved in selling an advertising media to an advertising agency or a person in an advertising agency selling advertising media, it is important to emphasize to your clients how long a customer would probably look at an advertising on an advertising media.

Take a look at the Super Bowl ads, companies spend millions of dollars for just a few seconds of ad time because they know that they have a captured audience of football fans both in the colosseum and the people watching in the televisions.


It is a fact that the most common ways commuters travel these days are thru the use of trains and buses. People spend hours commuting to and from work using these two modes of transport.

And how are the seating arrangements ordered in these two modes of transport? Essentially, for the majority of trains and buses, the seats are facing forward where the commuter can see the back of the seat of the commuter in front of them.

Of course, the commuter near the window gets to see the view from outside the train or bus, but the majority of consumers are seated not next to windows with views. They are seated where their view is towards the back of the seat in front of them.

And airline companies know this. This is the reason why we see those airline magazines and other reading materials stacked up in the back of the seat in front of commuters. They know that after hours of flying by airplane, people would be bored enough to try anything.

This includes looking at their left, right, on the ceiling or even the floor just to alleviate their growing boredom. Of course, the commuters eye view would be stuck to the back of the seat in front of them. This eye view is a prime advertising space in my opinion.

This is the reason why I’m flabbergasted why I haven’t seen ads yet in the back of the seats of trains and buses. Do the bus and train owners think it’s too intrusive to their commuters? Are there laws against advertising on the back seat of trains and buses?

For anyone trying to sell advertising, it would be wise to consider selling advertising on the back of the seats of trains and buses. And if there’s a law or train or bus owner resistance, tell the people concerned how valuable this space is.

For the train or bus operators, this could be a very profitable source of advertising revenue because it’s really an effective advertising media. Let me give you an example, I was traveling by train one day and happen to saw a small ink pen made graffiti drawn in the back of the seat in front of me.

I was commuting on the way home and should be relaxing by seeing the window views on the train. But I always have to look forward otherwise I would have a neck strain. And sure enough, after repeated views of the small graffiti, my mind can’t help but think about the graffiti.

For some reason, I began to think about the design of the graffiti and became curious of the person or persons who wrote it. I was now giving attention to the insignificant graffiti more than it deserved!


Another transport infrastructure where I don’t see much ads or other forms of visual lettering or drawing are tunnels. It doesn’t matter if the trains are made for cars and other vehicles like trains.

The point is, there is a lot of advertising or media space being wasted to convey an advertisement or a message. Tunnels are especially good at telling developmental stories due to their physical length.

Have you ever heard or seen this road advertising where road advertisement signs gradually inform you that you’re nearing a place of business in order for you to gain a sense of gradual interest or even desire to reach that particular place of business.

Let’s say that there is a McDonalds shop 50 miles from the current place in the road, the first advertising sign may say: “McDonalds 50 miles ahead,” after ten miles another advertising sign may say: “McDonalds 40 miles ahead” and so on.

It is with certainty that with each mile you progress on the road and after repeatedly seeing these advertising signs being shown to you, you would at least gain some measure of interest, if not the other passengers in your vehicle.

Let’s try to make the same thing happen by putting advertisements on a tunnel. But before we do, let me remind anyone who is potentially interested in selling advertisements on tunnels that there might be laws which prevent you from doing so.

For example, In Australia, I haven’t seen road tunnel advertisements at least while I pass through them. According to some road experts, there is a high likelihood that the drivers of the vehicles passing through the tunnel would be distracted enough to cause an accident.

It is up to you to agree or disagree with this, but the reality is that in some countries, advertisements on road or rail tunnels is not allowed. It may even happen that all sorts of road advertisements are not allowed in some countries.

But let’s say that in your country advertising on tunnels is allowed. Think of this concept: A tunnel is long enough that it could handle five billboards worth of advertisement. The opening and first advertisement is about a drunk driver who drives drunk or dangerously.

The second ad shows the driver in a hospital for driver’s insurance. The third ad is for family and investing in banks. The third ad is for college funds. The fifth ad is for retirement. As you can see, one ride in a tunnel can make one think about insurance and investment for a lifetime.


I don’t think I need to elaborate on this, but trains, buses and their waiting stations are good areas to place advertisements because companies are assured that they have a captured audience while people use these transport facilities.

They are plastered inside some walls of trains and buses and I have already seen advertisements painted on the outside of some trains. But if you would just make a quick image search online, you would notice that the advertisements are infrequent and spaced out.

If ever you are into the advertising business, it might be a good idea to point out to companies that a lot of surface on trains, buses and their stations are being wasted and not being put into good use.

Do remember that many commuters travel close to more than one hour on trains and buses everyday. This is not counting the time commuters stay at bus and train stations waiting for their bus or train to arrive.


Whatever traveling situations occur, traveling by trains and buses are still the most common way in which many commuters travel. Most commuters also spend more than one hour on trains or buses and their associated stations.

In terms of advertising, this presents a lot of captured audience which would see ads many days a week on a regular basis. This is a prime advertising media which advertisers and companies should not let go to waste.

You might also like to read the article:

Roving Advertising And The Taxi Business

I was doing my usual surfing online when I came upon this article from the Financial Review. It was titled: “P2P Transport to spend $17m with Telstra to make taxis roving digital billboards.”...


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