Out of home advertising encompasses a lot more than billboards, and one perennially popular way to promote your goods and services is on taxis. Even the rise of rideshare services hasn’t toppled the taxi in markets such as New York City and Las Vegas, where they remain popular modes of transportation.
How popular? We looked up how many cabs are in NYC, and it’s more than 13,000. So yes, people are most definitely still using taxis in 2021.
Taxicab advertising offers a fun way to try outdoor advertising. Here’s everything you need to know about taxis, advertising prices in New York City and beyond, and what advertising modes are available.
A Quick Primer on Taxis
The concept of a taxi service dates back more than half a millennium, to when the horsepower was provided by actual horses. Eventually, the two-wheel Hansom cab gave way to cars in New York City that ferried people with charges based on distance. The first yellow cab debuted in NYC in the early 1900s. (Why yellow? The inventor undertook a university-level study to determine what color would draw people’s attention.)
Today, NYC taxi rates are cheaper than rideshares, and the cab remains a popular form of transportation. A third of people use taxis at least once a month, and another 61 percent use them at least once a year.
What Is Taxi Advertising?
Taxi advertising is an ad placed on top of, inside of, or wrapped around a taxicab. Rates are lower than for many other types of outdoor advertising, and you can reach a lot of people. Most ads target people who see the taxi, not those riding in it.
We recommend taxi advertising for clients who want to dominate a market. Taxi ads act as moving billboards, spreading your message across a city. They’re most effective when you buy space on a fleet rather than just a few cars, dominating a market with your message.
New York and Las Vegas have the greatest number of taxi riders — they take more than 27 million trips in Vegas alone each year, according to the city — but you can find opportunities in any major urban environment. A range of ad categories work well, including:
- Entertainment such as music and movies
- Food and beverages
Taxi Advertising Costs
Taxi cab advertising rates vary depending on the city. The general range of pricing goes from $30 per cab for the cheapest form of taxi advertising to $2,000 per cab for the most expensive. How much to advertise on a taxi also depends on how many vehicles you buy.
The greater the number of cabs you buy, the lower your per-car cost will be. You can purchase ads that run for four weeks.
Types of Taxi Advertising
There are four main types of taxi advertising.
Taxi Trunk Ads
Advertising on taxi trunks appears on the trunk of the taxi and is static. It generally covers the whole trunk, stretching between the taillights. The visibility of the ad, especially to people sitting behind the taxi in traffic, makes them a popular option, as does their low price.
Cost of Taxi Trunk Ads
Taxi trunk ads cost about $150 per car. It’s the second-cheapest type of taxi advertising.
Taxi Interior Advertising
Interior advertising in taxis includes ads on digital screens attached to the back of the driver and passenger seat of the cab. Riders can watch infotainment on the screens, with ads rotating through on a loop. You can also buy a static ad, though these are less common.
Screens can be engaging, and they often offer games riders can play. Advertisers can include websites or QR codes that link to a promotion in their ads, too.
Cost of Taxi Interior Advertising
Taxi interior advertising is the least-expensive type of taxi advertising. Though pricing can vary depending on how many screens you buy, it’s generally about $30 per car, with a minimum buy of 1,000 screens.
Taxi Wrap Ads
Taxi wraps encompass the whole car with your message. You might choose a different color for the car or imagery.
Cost of Taxi Wrap Ads
Taxi wraps cost more than any other type of taxi advertising because of the production costs required to create the wrap. The ad covers more real estate, and so it’s more expensive. Wraps run about $2,000 per car.
Taxi Top Advertising
Taxi top advertising is probably the form you’re most familiar with. It consists of a display placed on top of the car that shows an ad. Displays can be small, fitting neatly in the middle of the roof, or long, extending front to back.
You can also choose a digital or static display. Digital ads are easier to swap in and out, and taxis have multiple digital advertisements rotating through the roof display. Backlit signage illuminates your ad so that people can see it any time of day.
Cost of Taxi Rooftop Advertising
Static rooftop advertising costs $100 to $200 per taxicab. Digital is a bit cheaper at $120 to $180, usually measuring out around $150.
What About Rideshare Advertising?
Over the past decade, many cities outside New York and Las Vegas have seen a shift to use of rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. Guess what? You can advertise on those, too. There are three ways to advertise on rideshares:
- Car top: Similar to taxi top advertising, you can purchase a display that goes on top of the vehicle.
- Wraps: Similar to taxi wraps, you can wrap an entire car with your message.
- Interior: Similar to interior taxi advertising, you can purchase time on the screens on the back of the driver and passenger seat.
To advertise with a rideshare, you need a vendor that has agreements with drivers. The drivers earn revenue sharing from the ads, and they have to have those ads out and about for a certain amount of time to qualify. Vendors reach out to drivers directly for these advertisements.
Since rideshares are still a developing industry, you can expect the options to evolve with time. We’d like to see more detailed information shared about the return on investment and opportunities, which is always true of nascent types of ads.
Rideshare Advertising Cost
Rideshare advertising isn’t cheap. It runs about $300 to $400 per car, which is more than most forms of taxi ads. Vendors promise guaranteed impressions utilizing phone signals in the area.
Are you interested in pursuing taxi or rideshare advertising for your products or services? Get in touch with DASH TWO to discuss your options.