Magazine article Marketing

TOPPS to Target the Shopper on the Road

Magazine article Marketing

TOPPS to Target the Shopper on the Road

Article excerpt

The biggest problem with TV advertising has always been the high probability that the consumer will have completely forgotten ever having seen your expensive ad before he or she enters a shop and has the opportunity to select your product from the shelves.

Persuasive and well-targeted the campaign may be, but the increasing importance of in-store promotions and effective merchandising demonstrates how essential it is to get your communication across as close as possible to the point of purchase.

It comes as no surprise that The Original Passenger Picture Show (TOPPS), producer of TV programming and advertising within buses, is expanding its service to advertisers. The company maintains that not only do one-third of adults travel frequently by bus, but that two-thirds of all passengers use the bus to go shopping, providing an ideal vehicle for targeting consumers.

London traffic

TOPPS is in the final stages of negotiating a deal with London Buses to air its programmes and ads on central London routes. It is two years since the company launched the medium, which is currently used in 2200 buses across four regions: the Midlands, the North-west (including Wales), Yorkshire and the North-east, and the Home Counties.

It offers bored passengers the opportunity to watch a range of programmes, from comedies to sport, interspersed every 18 minutes with a standard three- to three-and-a-half minute ad break. Advertisers are offered a package often spots during the three-hour loop tape. This is estimated to give 16 million 'opportunities to view over one month.

Infomercials and sponsorship opportunities are also available: TOPPS recently signed up Gillette as its first sponsor, for all sports coverage.

Sales and marketing director Suzanne Wilkinson claims that the medium, although still a small one, is one of the most accountable available to advertisers. "Using information gained from electronic bus ticketing equipment, we can produce information for different regions on age, sex and gender of passengers, as well as a whole host of socio-demographic and lifestyle data."

Ad nauseam

Wilkinson says research has shown that 85% of passengers exposed to the programming watch it, but concedes that there is a danger of irritating passengers if they have to watch the repeated advertising too often. …

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