Friday, May 29, 2009

Local Fridays - 34 Express Off The Rails

I’m starting a new weekly project to bring you the best and worst of local advertising that I find. Local advertising is a large part of the advertising world and goes largely unrepresented in the realm of advertising blogs for the most part. Recently there have been some local ads that have grabbed national attention, so I decided more local advertising needs to be discussed and recognized. We all know that local advertising can at times be very bad. My goal with this weekly project is to highlight not only the bad work that is done but also the good work.

So for the first ever Local Fridays post, I’m going to talk about this out of home bus ad I saw the other day. The program the ad is advertising is great. The bus goes from Greeley to Loveland, which would be nearly impossible if you didn’t have a car and since Loveland has a lot more to offer than Greeley, I’m sure it’s a very useful bus route. So I understand the desire to promote this route and get the word out. What I don’t understand is why they decided to use a pointless headline and why the placement of this ad is on the back of a bus.

The headline “Transfers are your friend!” is utterly confusing to me. I know transfers are good because they save you money, but what does that tell me about this special route? Everyone who rides a bus knows that, and since your target audience is people that ride buses, you should focus on how this new route will help improve their day instead of feeding old information. The sub-header does a great job of explaining what the route does and makes the ad at least decent. A headline that grabbed a person’s attention and gave them some idea of the route would have a much bigger impact.

My second beef with this ad is the placement of it. Now I’m going to preface this argument by saying that this is the only version of this ad that I’ve seen and I haven’t inspected all of the buses around town, but this is the last place I would want this ad placed. This ad is speaking to people who ride buses, letting them know about a bus route. Why in the world would you place it on the back of a bus? The only people that are looking at the back of a bus are people in cars like me. This ad would be much more effective if it was placed at a bus stop, or inside of the bus. It could even be placed as a flyer inside of the bus. That way people who are actually going to use this route, will be able to see it. The only way a bus patron will see this ad is if they are looking at the back of the bus while it pulls away. Even then the headline is so confusing, they wouldn’t have enough time to figure it out before the bus was gone.

Over all, this ad is a failure in my mind. The headline makes the entire thing confusing and the placement is just wrong. What do you think about this ad? How would you have done it differently?


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