After bus panels, bus backs, grab handles and TV screens inside buses, BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport) buses have now lend its seat backs to advertisers. Similar innovation has been tried earlier in private buses, but for BEST buses, this is the first time.
The new advertising platform is being offered by Mumbai-based Tinta Media Creations, a sister concern of Emnet Samsara Media. Emnet Samsara, which has already installed TV screens and CCTV cameras in BEST's buses, provides advertisers the plastic moulded bucket seats that have replaced the old metal-and-cloth seats in BEST buses. The project will be implemented over a period of 18 months.
Gholkar, CEO, Tinta Media Creations, tells afaqs!, "The BEST management has opened up many new concepts for generating non-operating revenue for reducing transport operating losses. They were keen to promote this concept and have commissioned us to replace the conventional BEST bus seats with new plastic-moulded seats with branding rights on the seat backs."
The company started installing these seats in June 2008. Currently, these seats have been installed in approximately 700 buses of the 3,900 BEST buses plying the roads. In 650 normal buses, 41 seats have been fitted, while in 50 double-decker buses the number of seats is 62.
"This medium is very communicative and can describe the product in depth," Gholkar says. "Advertisers are impressed by this medium that has a personalised impact on the branding, as the matter is very close to a person sitting on the bus seat."
As far as reach goes, BEST, on its 3,700 buses, transports about 4.8 million passengers on an average weekday. The average travel distance traveled by an individual on BEST buses is seven km everyday. With a traveling time of four minutes per km, each individual spends approximately 28 minutes on a BEST bus per day, thus giving an advertiser value for his money spent.
Some of the brands that have already experimented with this medium include RED FM, CROMA, Bank of India, Bank Of Maharashtra, Jet King, Just Dial, Idea, Surf Excel, 9 XN, Rajshri Production, Minute Maid, HDFC, ICICI and TATA SKY.