Bus advert copy overload


As a public sector marketer I lead a team that does all sorts of marketing activity, including booking traditional media formats like bus advertising.

Which means I am quite sad when I’m out and about and can’t actually look at adverts anywhere without scrutinising them from a marketer’s point of view.

So when I spotted this bus advert in the traffic ahead of me on the way home today my heart sank:

Bus advert

I should at this point mention that it isn’t one of our adverts, but if it was I’d have been fuming.

When designing and copywriting adverts, you need to think about the context in which it’ll be viewed.

Bus adverts are typically viewed in very short bursts while people are driving, often at speed, or being passed by an advert-laden bus.

Which means there’s not much of an opportunity to read lots of words.

In fact 5-10 words is probably too much. Have a look at the next bus advert you see and count the words. Any more and the message is lost.

So to my mind this advert is a wasted opportunity to sell and a waste of precious marketing budget.

I hate to say it, but it’s usually public sector organisations that try to squeeze too many words onto adverts. I don’t see many adverts from large private sector companies that fall into this trap.