Veteran advertising executive Everett Lopez, introduces us to a relatively new medium: TV on the bus. TV on the bus can capture interesting segments of the Hispanic population.

Many of the Hispanics living and/or working in the greater Los Angeles area are not being regularly exposed to the TV commercials of major brands, because they rarely watch TV at home.

Since 2010 Transit-TV is a highly effective Bi-lingual way for major advertisers and famous brands to reach the ever-growing Hispanic population of greater Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County has a population of about 10 million, and about 14% of them use the public bus system on a daily basis. There are about 1,200,000 bus boardings every weekday, and about 600,000 on Saturdays.

Approximately 69% of the passengers are of Hispanic descent. As these riders travel to and from their jobs—or to stores, theaters, schools, relatives, etc.—they spend from 45 to 90 minutes per trip.

Until recently, it was a boring trip.

But now, there are two TV sets on each bus, one at the front and the other half-way back, that deliver TV programming: both picture and sound. News is presented in English by Associated Press and Telemundo in Spanish, as are the TV commercials. "It's a lot more interesting than just staring out the window," riders typically comment, "and they give away great stuff, too!"

Thanks to Maurice Vanegas, CEO of the local firm that provides the TV Service, passengers (18 or older) can enter the firm's ongoing giveaways or trivia contests to receive free tickets to concerts, sports events, Museum Passes and movie tickets. To enter, they can tweet their requests or answers—using their cell phone to send a text message via Twitter to the firm—while traveling on the bus. Or, at other times, they can e-mail their requests or entries.

Recently, at the bus TV shows, Maurice Vanegas and Everett Lopez offered 200 free tickets to the Tim Burton Exhibit at the LACMA to the first 100 riders who respond to the tweet aboard the buses. Two tickets for each rider… 200 free tickets that cost 40 a piece. It was promoted as “Spectacular $8,000 Giveaway!!”

The point for Maurice Vanegas is not attracting new customers for his advertisers but being genuinely caring about the "captive audience" and what we can do to make their commute and their life more pleasurable.

It's no wonder that LA bus riders pay close attention to TV on the Bus as they make their daily commute to and from work, or travel to other destinations. They don't want to miss out on any of the valuable giveaways or prizes. They really like the content and variety of the programs, too.

The most popular programs are the daily trivia contests. These are preceded and followed by 15-second, 30-second or 60-second commercials—many for national brands.

It's this close relation and rapport with the viewers that helps to get more advertisers. Either way, you can't go wrong with a captive audience!


Everett Lopez is Account Executive at Transit TV. Previously, Lopez founded Western Beauty Institute in 1995. Lopez was also profiled in La Opinion, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today.


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