The Power Of Busvertising: 35+ Ads That Go Beyond Conventional Advertising

By Israel O

Advertising a product is essential to marketing since it persuades people to buy your product. Thus it’s understandable why some entrepreneurs spare no cost when it comes to advertising.

However, a good advert doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to stand out. A creative and never-done-before idea will send your business skyrocketing with sales. Since several companies are probably offering the same products and services, you have to do something outstanding to make consumers choose you. 

Now, enter the bus. In the advertising world, that’s about 35 feet of moving billboards ripe for the taking. Lucky for you, today we’ve compiled the best bus ads we could find after scouring the internet. Wanna see what we mean? Read on to find out!

Flying High Over The Competition

Throughout 2020 and the better part of 2021, the pandemic rampaged the whole world and brought all normal activities to a halt. The travel industry was heavily affected as most airlines had to stop flights. But in 2022, everyone is excited to go on a vacation!

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Although this Air New Zealand ad is a few years old (an eternity in advertising), it is still relevant today. The company was able to execute interactive bus ads that just stood out. We’ve booked our flight, what are you waiting for?

Magical Genie Lamp

Now, this is one creative bus ad. When Aladdin was released, Walt Disney went big on promotion and ran several ads for the movie. But this particular bus ad stood out the most. The House of Mouse went all out to make the film a must-see. 

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The designers who did this made it extra realistic by positioning the lamp’s mouth next to the bus’s exhaust pipe. That, together with the bright painting, gave the illusion of a stunning active smoking lamp. We’re sure everyone wanted a spot on this bus!

Snake On A Bus

The zoo business must be slow because this is not the only zoo ad you’ll see on this list. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo took the initiative to create a memorable and out-of-the-box advert that we’re sure went a long way for them. 

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They created a brilliant illusion of a giant snake sliding in and out of the bus. However, despite knowing that, it doesn’t do much to quell the fear and shock people must have experienced after seeing the ad for the first time. It looks so realistic!

Always Run Zoo Ads

Next, we have another zoo ad because who doesn’t love drawing animals on buses? It appears that business wasn’t doing too well for these zoo owners, so they came up with a new way to reach more audiences with a simple yet captivating ad on a bus. 

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The National Zoo and Aquarium in Canberra, Australia, decided to invest in an advert that featured several wild animals like kangaroos (obviously), lions, monkeys, leopards, and bears painted on several parts of the bus. It’s almost like the jungle moved inside the bus!

Ghost Rider 

Those in charge of marketing and promoting Ghost Rider must have done a lot of thinking to ensure everyone knew about the movie. Eventually, they decided that the best possible way to do it was by using a ride. Except this time, it wasn’t a motorcycle, but a bus. 

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By merely looking at this photo, you can tell this advert was a classic and must have made a lot of waves at the time. This, plus the fact that Nicolas Cage was the lead actor, made it a must-watch for many people.

Let’s Share A Kiss

It’s one thing to put ads on buses, but it’s an entirely different thing to place them on sliding doors. This is especially tricky because it’s easy to misplace the ads. Luckily, with the services of a brilliant advertising agency, you have nothing to worry about. 

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This ad for Smint breath mints hit the mark with this exciting sliding door ad. It shows a man and woman getting ready to kiss when the door opens and finally sharing a smooch when it gets shut. That’s what we call making an impression!

First Class Dream Becomes A Reality

It is everyone’s dream to fly first class — the level of comfort is simply outstanding. And let’s not forget the excellent meals, free drinks, great restrooms, and amenity kits. Just picture the most relaxing flight you have ever imagined.

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This ad will reportedly put you in first class at zero cost! With a simple yet ingenious sticker, watch your dreams turn into reality. There’s absolutely no need for you to break the bank for an experience that will only last a few hours!

Who Let The Dogs Out? 

For a second, they had us, too. We thought it was a real man holding on for dear life while walking four dogs. But it’s just an advert promoting Tiernitos dog food company. Frankly, though it seemed outrageous at first, we get the concept.

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In the ad, we see a man at the back of the bus holding four dogs while they chase after Tiernitos dog food. Whoever came up with this idea certainly thought out of the box. Too bad the consumers can’t tell us if it’s really that good!

The X-ray Bus

This bus advert has an eerie air about it. Though it might just be a painting, it makes you think of how vulnerable people are behind all the walls they build to hide their true nature. This is how we look underneath it all. 

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A rather unsettling idea by this bus company. If radiation exposure wasn’t a thing, and an X-ray bus really existed, we are sure many people would hesitate to use it. It’s human nature to hide dirty laundry, so, of course, it wouldn’t sit well with many.

Bringing Safari On A Bus

Kids play a considerable role for marketers when they want to try and sell a product, especially if it’s a product for children. As long as the ad captivates the little ones, you can be sure that they’ll sulk, throw tantrums, and cry until they get what they want. 

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Children have a significant influence on their parent’s purchase decisions. So it is no surprise this safari advert puts great emphasis on kids and education. The safari photo also makes it inviting to not only children but also their parents.

Flipped Out Bus

We had to turn our phones the other way to be sure we weren’t mistaken. This is a brilliant advert by Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company. They have never shied away from introducing clever flavors like Wavy Gravy, Chubby Hubby, and Dastardly Mash.

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Through the years, these flavors have gotten people’s attention, making the brand stand out. Thus, they decided to get people talking once again with their new ice cream flavor, Flipped Out. And what better way to launch this delicious flavor than an ad posted upside-down?

How To Lose Weight

Our next ad is a little insensitive to some people, but we can’t deny its brilliance. WeightWatchers is a global wellness company that offers weight loss and fitness programs as well as services to manage and promote a healthy lifestyle.

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We totally understand that to some people, the ad may be a bit much. That said, there is no denying the creativity behind it. You immediately understand the rationale; if you are light-hearted, it may even make you chuckle. Would you get on it?

Men At Work 

If you haven’t heard of, you’re missing out. It’s a website for job searches, career advice, and hiring resources. At some point, the company decided to do an ad on a double-decker bus for promotion. We must say whoever thought of this deserves a raise. 

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The clever use of shadowing makes the two gentlemen standing on ladders washing the bus look real enough for passing drivers and pedestrians to do a double take! The Chinese writing translates to “Stuck in the wrong job?” We bet several people applied after seeing this ad.

The Big-Sized Chocolate Bar

Mars Chocolate is by far one of the biggest names in chocolate. Established in 1911, the brand has been going strong for over a century. The company decided on a unique ad to promote the goodness of their chocolate and remind people that they’re still the best.  

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The ad sticker perfectly imitates the goodness and richness of the Mars chocolate bar. We aren’t even going to get started on how real it looks. But imagine randomly seeing this truck on the road after a terrible day — we bet you’d stop at the next chocolate store!

Batman In Gotham

We’ve seen a few movie ads on this list, and now, we have the critically acclaimed (well, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement) film Batman Vs. Superman. The “Dark Knight” faces “Superman” in a movie that featured one of the most iconic duels and superhero face-offs in film history.

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Although the movie was a big flop and the bus ad doesn’t stand out, we still find it funny because of the coincidence. The photo was conveniently taken near a sign board that indicated that the bus was driving towards a town in the UK called Gotham.

Super Flexible Bus

If you are looking for the perfect ad to attract more people to your business or company, then you should consider doing something extraordinary and adding brilliant wordplay to drive your point home. This ad is everything we just mentioned. 

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Not everyone is a fan of banks and the services they offer, like loans, mortgages, and auto loans. But at Community First Credit Union, you are assured of flexibility. Wanna know how much? Just imagine how much they spent on this ad and determine if they have a problem with money or not!

King Kong Doing His Thing

We really are in awe because of how realistic this bus ad is. We all know how gigantic “King Kong” is, and crushing a bus with one hand is something he can do without breaking a sweat. And here he is, proving just that. 

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The company in charge of this advertisement spared no cost in using visual effects to make this advert as real as possible. They deserve all the praise for this concept and the execution. It would undoubtedly make anyone want to go into the cinemas and watch the movie.

Model Legs 

Now, this has got to be the most hilarious ad so far. This man must be wondering why people on the streets keep looking at him and giggling. We don’t blame them, though. If we saw this ad, too, we wouldn’t be able to hold the laughter in.   

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The company thought it would be quite amusing if they left out the heads of their models and just allowed innocent passengers to do the work for them. It turned out to be a magnificent idea because it indeed got people talking!

Perfect Optical Ad

Have you ever wondered about the best way to advertise optical services? Worry no more. Specsavers has saved us the trouble by showing us something we’d never have thought of. The ad was executed impeccably, and we just love it.

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At first glance, it looks like the bus had backed into a signpost because of the driver’s bad eyesight. From this advert, we learned two things; one, keep a reasonable distance from the other driver, and two, you need to visit the eye doctor whenever you experience problems with your eyes.

Clean And Beautiful Netherlands

The Netherlands is known to be a very clean and litter-free country. This is possible because of their recycling initiatives and government contributions. This advertising campaign by the government is a friendly reminder to the citizens to keep the streets clean at all times.

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We believe the message was passed across perfectly with this picture of a couple of workers clearing out waste. Although you only get to see this ad when you’re driving or walking behind the bus, it’s still a very effective way to make a point.

London In Norway

How do you get people to book tickets with your airline when they are traveling to London? found a solution by getting creative with this bus ad. One thing London is known for is the red double-decker buses that are everywhere in the city. 

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Although they couldn’t bring the original red buses from London, they were able to make a couple of their local buses look exactly like them by “painting” them red and even adding London plate numbers to the buses. Creative, catchy, and easy to understand.

Go Nuts Like The Peanuts

For the next one, we have The Peanuts, which is one of the oldest, most popular comics that ran from the 1950s to 2000. In 2015, when an animated adaptation of the comic was released, the production company decided to do a bus ad to promote the movie. 

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Since the characters in the animation are school children, they decided to make use of school buses to promote it by painting our favorite characters on the bus as if on their way to school. This one really took us back.

How To Stay Fit

One advantage of bus ads is they make a huge statement. They are always on the move and attract several people by simply going about their businesses. If you’re thinking of a way to promote your business and have the means, then try a bus ad.

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If you didn’t know the product, this bus ad by Trimax is enough to inform you about what they do. Instead of going on about the services they provide, they just showed a narrow waistline with a belt, and that was enough to pass the message across.

Easy Reverse Psychology 

In simple terms, reverse psychology is getting someone to do what you want by pretending you don’t want them to. This designer must have had a fantastic sense of humor and successfully applied reverse psychology in this ad. It must have been a great success. 

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Oat-Ly says they shouldn’t be pushing their products on innocent passengers who just want to get on the bus but are doing so indirectly. We have to commend this kind of creativity since we are certain it left an impression on the people who saw it.

Laundromat Bus

People love a brilliant and innovative advert, and we have seen several companies go to extreme lengths just to make their ads stand out. This time, a laundry detergent manufacturer decided to use a bus covered in dirty laundry to advertise their product. 

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The concept is incredible, and we’re sure it had a lot of people in the streets talking or at least staring for a long time in amazement. To be honest, it’s fascinating. However, we are not sure we would board this one.

A Heartfelt Ad

Sometimes you don’t need an epistle or a long paragraph to pass across a heartfelt message. You just need a very powerful image and a few words to hit home. And that is exactly what this bus ad is about. 

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In an attempt to educate people on how to treat animals and advocate for an end to factory farming, this organization wrapped a bus with images of captive animals and a strong message that reads, “They can’t ring the bell when they want to get off.” Painful but true.

The Best Toothbrush 

There are so many toothbrush and toothpaste companies all over the world. As such, most of them know that increase demand, they need to do something that will stand out. Dr. Best decided to do precisely that with this bus advert to promote their flexible toothbrush.

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This innovative idea is top-notch, and even though the brand may not be a popular one, we hope they were able to capture some customers with this idea of theirs. If bendy straws can do it, so too can toothbrushes!

Always Keep Your Distance

With an ad like this of a car sticking out from the back of a bus, it’s guaranteed that you will keep your distance without even being told to. Although we don’t know what company is associated with this campaign, we are guessing it’s an insurance company. 

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Even without words, the company responsible has succeeded in passing the message across. So keep your distance and avoid speeding if you do not want to get in an accident that looks exactly like this. Looks like something from a Fast and Furious movie!

Say NO to Vandalism

In this one, the ad is placed on the back of a bus seat and not on the bus. And they didn’t mince words one bit. It strongly warns against vandalism and graffiti, saying those who are caught will be arrested and face the full wrath of the law. 

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Graffiti, over the years, has become a huge cause for concern in many big cities. The funny part of this ad is that the passenger’s physique matches that of the man in the advert, and at first glance, it looks like the man in the picture has been arrested.

No Ifs, Butts, Or Maybes

Having a colonoscopy is terrifying and, at the same time, embarrassing. Not many of us enjoy the idea of someone touching our bum, even if it’s in the rectal examination room. But sometimes, it’s something you have to do to make sure you are healthy.

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The Colorectal Association of Canada succeeded in encouraging people to feel less ashamed of making that stop at the hospital for a colon scan. It’s a little weird to see bums on a bus, but after boarding a bus like this, maybe you wouldn’t mind going for a check-up as much!

Pose For The Camera

This company didn’t need extensive space or a huge sign to promote its product. All they needed was a small space close to the wheel to execute their excellent ad. Who would have known that a camera lens and bus tire looked so similar?

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This ad proves that if you have a team or even just one creative designer who prioritizes aspects like space, you can come up with the most incredible campaigns to push your products and make people purchase them without spending so much money.

Let’s Go Skating

Here’s a brilliant way of incorporating the bus wheels into your advert. The other one was a camera, but this time, it’s a skateboard. The ad was done for a competition called the Real Street X Games, one of the most talked-about competitions in skating.

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The skateboard was placed in a spot that made it look as if the wheels of the bus and those of the skateboard were one and the same. When the bus moves, so does the skateboard. It’s a brilliant idea that makes us want to pick up skateboarding!

Kraken The Monster 

No, this isn’t the “Kraken.” The legendary monster who made a special appearance in The Pirates of the Caribbean. Interestingly, it’s a type of rum! The Kraken is a gigantic octopus known to pull ships and sailors into the ocean. 

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But this time, it’s pulling on the bus! Someone should’ve monitored this squid’s drinking. Everyone knows that when you have one too many drams, you can get a bit rowdy. Nothing like destroying a bus to make your friends realize you might be in need of an intervention!

Play Some Music

We are not sure if this is an advertisement for a product because there is no brand name or logo. Whatever this is, it’s an innovative way to make use of the parts of a bus to create a wonderful illusion.

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This is an accordion bus, also known as a banana bus. Because of its bendy nature, it looks as if the person is really playing the instrument. Regardless of the reason behind this design, we stan another epic idea brought to life.

Illuminating With Duracell

Duracell is an American manufacturer of alkaline batteries, rechargeables, smart power systems, and flashlights. This time around, they had the brilliant idea to promote their latest flashlight by positioning one on the headlights of the bus to make it look real. 

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This innovative style of advertising is so creative. Not only did they make the flashlight look as if it was illuminating the headlights, but they also used this trick on the stations of the bus’ map routes. Don’t you think you need a new flashlight already?

Nice Watch

This advert has nothing to do with the exterior of the bus but rather the interior. They used straps in the bus to promote a new wristwatch model. Once you put your hand in the strap, it looks as if you’re wearing a watch.

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The Big Pilot’s watch is definitely worth trying out. This stunning strap not only stops you from falling but also offers you the chance to wear a watch for free! We hope whoever came up with this idea had a raise at the end of the month.

Shark’s Food

Do you remember us explaining how hard it is to put ads on sliding doors? Well, here’s another success story. To ensure increased viewership on Nat Geo Wild, they decided to rouse people’s interest with this cool ad for Shark Week.

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The idea was perfect. Whenever someone decides to get on the bus, the shark’s mouth opens as if to swallow the person, and when the door closes, so does the shark’s mouth. If you love horror movies, then you’ll definitely like this.

Relax And Enjoy Your Ride

This time it’s the world-famous furniture giant, IKEA. The Swedish company advertised its products on a bus using this placement technique. Seen as one of the biggest furniture retailers since 2008, they opted for something different just to stand out. 

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One thing about this ad is that it had to be properly placed so that when people sit on the bus, it looks from the outside as if they are having a good time relaxing on the chairs seen outside. We’d definitely love a ride on this bus.

Get Your News Fresh 

This person decided to create an out-of-the-box, extraordinary ad for The Dallas Morning News. Through it, we got to know what a hound dog and recent news have in common — bringing us the latest happenings in the city and beyond.

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If you didn’t know, hound dogs are known for picking up scents. This ad tries to portray the fact that Dallas Morning News has the fresh and up-to-date news you need. We are very sure they had an increase in newspaper sales after that.

Go Harder

This one looks just like the IKEA advert, but this time it’s an ad for an energy drink. It creates a hilarious illusion about the passengers on board. Although the passengers might not get it, the people on the streets would certainly be amused.

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The ads show passengers cycling very hard to power the bus. That alone is enough to tell you how powerful the energy drink must be. How else would five people be able to power a bus? X4 energy drink is apparently the only way.

Upside Down Dimension

If you haven’t heard of Stranger Things, we wonder where you have been. Stranger Things is a popular show on Netflix set in the 1980s in a town called Hawkins, where a teen with supernatural powers escapes the government’s evil plans.

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This horror TV show talks about a world called the upside down — an alternate dimension existing in a parallel universe. It’s no surprise Netflix came up with an upside-down ad to promote the show. It’s called Stranger Things for a reason.

Take A Bite

Apparently, the latest thing on the bus ad front is using sliding bus doors to create moving images, and the ads on this one succeeded in doing that effectively. In South Korea, this company used this technique to promote its product. 

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Although it’s difficult to tell the name of the company in this ad, we can see a man trying to eat a bar of chocolate. When the door fully opens, the man successfully swallows the chocolate bar in one big gulp! Now we’re really craving chocolate!

Horton The Elephant 

“Horton” is a fictional character in Dr. Seuss’ books Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches The Egg. This hilarious bus ad was meant to promote the movie. It implies that Horton’s weight is too much for the bus, and he ends up crushing it. 

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The other characters also appear to be sitting in the bus with Horton on it. Thanks to the promotion efforts, the film turned out to be a box office hit with over 298 million dollars made. Frankly, the ad made us feel like rewatching the movie.

Always First 

When you think of logistics companies, you can’t help but consider FedEx. Although the competition is stiff, FedEx always has a way of standing out. The company’s “Always First” campaign was very successful in gaining people’s attention when it ran.

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This photo shows a FedEx truck on its way to deliver packages. The truck also throws shade at DHL, with the rear end of the bus painted yellow, implying that no matter how hard DHL tries, they could never catch up with Team Purple and Orange!

Glow In The Dark

If you want to promote new technology, you need to do something extraordinary to prove that what you’re about to unveil is completely different. And that is exactly what Mercedes did to promote their night view assist, which was a new feature on their vehicles back then.

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This new innovation makes it safer to drive at night. Pedestrians and other possible hazards become more visible to drivers, minimizing potential risks. To show this, Mercedes went for a glow-in-the-dark silhouette on the back of several buses’ back windows.