Why Bumper-to-Bumper Bus Ads Aren’t Leaving State College, PA Anytime Soon

The Centre Area Transportation Authority (CATA), which serves State College, PA, has said the massive, bumper-to-bumper graphic advertisements that currently emblazon the sides of its buses are here to stay.

According to a February 16 StateCollege.com article, these wrap-around ads were first applied to four CATA buses in January 2014 as part of a year-long test run. In a recent meeting, CATA board members voted to make these wraps permanent, which means all CATA buses will now be emblazoned with these giant ads.

Mobile advertisements such as vehicle wraps are among the most effective methods for generating brand exposure, as more than 95% of Americans report being reached by mobile advertising regularly.

The CATA vehicle wrap ads cover almost every inch of each bus, including most of its windows. For obvious safety reasons, the front windshield and front-side windows are not covered.

Public reception to these mobile billboards has been largely mixed. Some people voiced concerns about the bus windows being covered; however, many CATA riders told StateCollege.com that the bold advertisements don’t bother them.

“Overall, the input we received was very positive,” CATA spokesperson Jackie Sheader explained. “There were a couple of concerns, mainly about aesthetics and maintaining the CATA brand on our buses.”

The bus wraps have brought a major source of funding to CATA, which had been struggling financially up until this point — CATA would have had to cut the number of bus routes it offers if it hadn’t found a way to make more money. Sheader said the four trial bus wraps helped generate $35,000 toward CATA’s bottom line in their first year of use.

Full implementation of the bus wraps will be gradual. CATA plans to have 12 of its 71 buses covered in wrap graphics by July 1, according to Sheader. If every ad opportunity is purchased, these wraps could ultimately bring in as much as $120,000 in funding for CATA each year.

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