Traffic, Marketing & Advertising

What do you do on the road when traffic is really bad when you are driving? Obviously, you can’t just use your phone and browse the World Wide Web, post a status in social media and rant about how bad the traffic situation is nowadays. You just can’t do these because a golden rule in driving is to avoid any distraction while behind the steering wheel. So what are your options? Well, you can count the number of people you see outside your car window, or maybe, just have fun with math by adding all of the last 2 digits of the plate numbers of the cars around you. But seriously, who does these? None. On the other hand, a commuter would have more opportunities to do to keep themselves busy during this idle time; take a selfie, rant in social media, read a book, sleep and much more.

In major cities globally, a commuter spends approximately 4 hours a day in traffic…while someone with a car spends pretty much half of that time. That’s why traffic is one of the major factors to consider when advertising and marketing your brand.

Marketing and advertising in general is about who had the time to STOP, LOOK & LISTEN to your messaging. It’s not just about how many people see and hear you, it’s more about how many engaged and made a commitment to take action. Let’s take a look at some marketing and advertising campaigns we’d recommend you to consider with traffic in mind.

Traffic Jam

Traffic in Edsa, one of the major roads in Manila, Philippines

When Driving
  • Radio Ads
  • Bus Ads
  • Maps/Road Navigation Platforms
  • Billboard Ads
When Commuting
  • Social Media
  • Mobile Games/Apps
  • Radio Ads
  • Billboard Ads

I am sure there’s more to the list that you can add, but here in Business Is Fun, we put time, money and effort into consideration and so the above are what we see as the most logical and economical choices and here are the reasons why.

Radio Ads

Whether you drive or commute, music becomes your source of entertainment. You can sing along while inside the car, beat an imaginary drum in the air while wearing your headset on a train or for those who are AM listeners, just so you can keep yourself up to date with the local news. The radio keeps your attention away from all the traffic. Think about the amount of information you can cascade and the number of people you can reach thru frequency.

Social Media

Yep. Most commuters log onto Facebook, tweet and even take a snap of the traffic situation. In fact even those driving do so. Social media has been one of the ways we keep ourselves busy when stuck in a bad traffic. Sometimes, we search for traffic related posts, oftentimes, we just rant and warn our friends which routes not to take. There’s always a boost in social media usage during rush hours. This just means people are checking in. You might want to take advantage of that.

Bus Ads

Ok, who wouldn’t notice a bus? They’re like one of the space consuming vehicles on the road. And they have multiple stops. One way or another, you end up looking at them. They’re either in front of you or behind you. The attention they get on the road would make you want to explore the possibilities of integrating an advertising campaign outside or inside the bus.

Gaming/Mobile Apps

With the evolution of gaming, more and more people have downloaded games of interest in their mobile phones; even if they do take much of your device’s memory. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of mobile games and applications in IOS and Android to choose from operating on both online and offline. Some companies even spend a fortune to have their own games. That’s the power of technology ladies and gentlemen!

Maps and Road Navigation

Again, another platform your product or service may benefit having an exposure from. Not long ago, to move around a city, you should have a map or an access to directory assistance. Since the increase of mobile phone users with Internet capabilities, there’s no need for you to carry the map of a whole city. You can just download them in minutes and voila! You’ll never find yourself lost on the road again. From a marketing perspective, a store location and a suggestive prompt to a driver can trigger an interest to a product or service.


They’re big. They’re small. They may feature the hottest celebrities or an upcoming star. And most of the time, they are in the areas where traffic is already a given. Billboard advertising has been one of the oldest advertising and marketing platforms companies have taken advantage of. If you have the money to spend, it may be worth your budget.

The Bottom Line

A japanese study in 2012 revealed that time lost by people stuck in traffic and the extra cost of operating vehicles in gridlock in metropolitan and nearby areas amounted to $51 million a day. That easily jumps up to a conservative estimate of $64 billion with a bigger population and more vehicles on the road today. But as this saying goes:

Life is not just about the bad things or the good things. It is both. It all depends on where you focus your attention.

Traffic is bad. Really bad. But at the same time, rather than looking at this negatively, try to see it as an opportunity. When driving, it may be a good time to reflect on how you can be better, a time to think clearly, pray for someone, learn something and more. When on a commute, it can be an opportunity to read a book, listen to a podcast to gain knowledge, and maybe, call your mom! 😉

For marketers and advertisers, look at this as an opportunity to be creative in your campaigns. How would you alleviate the boredom from people stuck in traffic? How would you entertain? How do you send your message in such a way that they will take action the moment they’re no longer in one? 


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