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On the buses: how advertising on buses could be key to driving growth from a captive audience

London, UK, September 20, 2019, Top Shop advert on the side of a red London Bus.

In a tough economic climate, effective marketing can make all the difference – and that means getting your name and message out to people where they are likely to read it and respond. And one of the most effective places to do that is… on the side of a bus.

According to research, out-of-home advertising inside and on buses is still an incredibly effective way to promote companies and products to engage with urban audiences on the move. Unlike digital ads online, bus adverts can’t be switched off and are likely to catch the eye of many people from different walks of life. 

Offline marketing experts from Oppizi investigated the best areas of the UK to advertise using buses. By analysing data from the Department of Transport statistics, they have gathered bus miles driven in each local authority in the UK per 100,000 of the population. By ranking these numbers, the experts have determined which areas of the UK will likely have the most bus advert views from the general public, bus riders, and passers-by. 

So, here are the top ten best locations in the UK to place a bus advert for your business:

  1. North West Leicestershire – 125 million bus miles per 100k
  2. Lancashire – 15.37 million bus miles per 100k
  3. Norfolk – 5.44 million bus miles per 100k
  4. Tyne and Wear – 3.48 million bus miles per 100k
  5. West Midlands – 3.26 million bus miles per 100k
  6. London – 3.25 million bus miles per 100k
  7. Brighton and Hove – 2.88 million bus miles per 100k
  8. Darlington – 2.8 million bus miles per 100k
  9. Nottingham – 2.71 million bus miles per 100k
  10. North East – 2.69 million bus miles per 100k

North West Leicestershire is the best area of the UK to advertise your business outside of the home, on buses. There were 125 million miles driven by buses in North West Leicestershire per 100,000 of the population from 2021 to 2022. In comparison, London has 38 times fewer bus miles; this is quite astounding as 2.2 billion bus trips are made on London buses each year.

Lancashire is the second-best area to target bus riders with advertisements for your business, as 15.37 million bus miles are driven per 100,000. Blackpool, Blackburn, Preston, and Burnley are just a few of the urban areas contributing to the massive amount of bus miles driven last year. Despite ranking second in this study, Lancashire bus miles per 100,000 are eight times less than North West Leicestershire. 

Norfolk is the third best area in the UK to advertise your business on buses. 5.44 million bus miles were travelled per 100,000 of Norfolk’s population last year. Bus services in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, and Kings Lynn contribute to Norfolk’s great bus advertising potential. 

Tyne and Wear takes fourth place with 3.84 million bus miles driven per 100,000 of the population in 2021/22. Sunderland, Newcastle, and Gateshead contribute many bus miles to the total.

West Midlands is the fifth best area to target bus riders with your business adverts, with 3.26 million bus miles driven per 100,000 of the population. Birmingham, Coventry, and Solihull significantly contribute to the bus miles driven and its bus advertising potential.

A spokesperson from Oppizi says of the study: “Tapping into bus riders and passers-by outside of the home is a great way to gain an audience for company advertisements. Buses provide a rather effective means of conveying a message as they are always on the move and are often bright and eye-catching. Buses are often on a consistent route, so they will likely catch the eye of those travelling on their daily commute. Unlike digital ads found online, bus ads will catch the eyes of a vast variety of people. This is an excellent tool for your business as the untapped markets, such as older age groups and those who are tech-averse are likely to see your business advert; this would ideally lead to more customers for your business.

“Adverts on a bus can be located in the interior, sides, rear, or even full wraps. This data may be valuable to companies wishing to expand their out-of-home advertising strategies as they can target UK areas with the highest chance of views.”

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