Friday, June 17, 2011

Double Tall Ads Debut

The first Double Tall bus with advertising made its debut in service this week. AAA of Washington bought the ad that occupies the upper half of the double decker bus.
Community Transit made a decision last year to allow advertising on its Double Tall and Swift buses in an effort to raise more revenue. Transit advertising, like other advertising, has taken a nosedive during the recession. Fewer companies are advertising and they are advertising less than before, causing prices to fall for available advertising space.
Titan, our transit advertising vendor, was eager to make available advertising space on our Swift and Double Tall buses.
Swift buses have a unique look and paint scheme that draws attention to those buses, plus they travel frequently up and down the dense Highway 99 corridor for 20 hours a day. That’s a lot of moving billboard time to a high residential, business and auto-driven population.
The Double Talls are another bus type that draw attention because of their look and size. The ad placement on the upper half of the bus is visible above traffic, a desirable commodity. Plus these buses run through downtown Seattle as well as up and down I-5 during morning and evening rush hours, catching the eyes of stuck motorists.
Some of these same factors help Community Transit. People see these buses and want to ride them because they look different, and the characteristics of their service are different. To help keep brand integrity, Community Transit is not allowing advertising on all its Swift or Double Tall buses. At least not yet. We allow advertising on 10 of our 15 Swift buses and 18 of our 23 Double Tall buses.
So far, there have been five ads sold for the Double Talls. You will see the other ad-equipped buses coming out soon. As part of the Buy Local for Transit promotion, Titan is offering a buy one, get one deal on Community Transit bus ad space. Just in case you’re considering…
By the way, speaking of Double Talls, the heating/air conditioning problem we were experiencing on these buses has been fixed. Because the separate HVAC systems on each floor of the buses were not working together, customers were complaining about it being either too hot or too cold on the buses, depending on where they were sitting. We stopped putting new buses on the road until the problem was fixed. The fix came last weekend and this week another three Double Talls have been put into service, bringing to total 18 on the road. The last five of these replacement buses should be out soon.


  1. Yeah, I saw one of them with ad placement in Downtown today. It's amazing. I hope this will be helpful to CT's revenue.

    One question: In my opinion, the upper half ad placement makes the double tall a little weird. Of course, I love CT is seeking different ways to raise its reveune and the double talls with ad placement. But why don't you guys try to advertise on Double Talls just like the ones in Hong Kong and Singapore? For example, because of the size of Double Talls, CT can advertise on the whole body of Double Tall. Not only CT may make more money with that, but also using the whole body may make the ad. more creative. I am not sure if law of the state would allow to do so or not, but it may be good to CT.

    Reference: the bus with whole body ad. in Hong Kong:
    the one in Singapore:

  2. The upper half ad placement on the Double Tall may look a little weird to you, but we like to think of it as a little creative!

    The reason we opted for this type of ad at this time is we are just re-introducing the Double Tall buses and we want people to enjoy the beauty of them and get used to identifying the buses through their "natural" colors.

    Eventually, we will likely offer a full bus wrap for advertising. The market isn't necessarily there right now, but in a year or two... we'll see.