Streetcar Ads Are Effective

Teaching the vast masses of our large cities is indeed a problem, one which necessitates the use of nearly every form of advertising to make certain that the evange­listic campaign is well known in the city.

By ANDREW C. FEARING, Conference Evangelist, West Pennsylvania

Teaching the vast masses of our large cities is indeed a problem, one which necessitates the use of nearly every form of advertising to make certain that the evangelistic campaign is well known in the city. After choosing his means of advertising, the evangelist may ascertain the effectiveness of his various display agencies by taking a poll at the Sunday night service. If this is done at regular intervals, the advertising can be gauged accordingly.

Recently, in the city of Pittsburgh, we conducted a seventeen-week series, using the radio (five times a week), newspapers, handbills, and streetcar display advertisements. Consistently, in our Sunday evening polls, the overwhelming vote went to streetcar advertising and the radio as means of informing people of the evangelistic services and the appointed subjects.

The advertising agencies estimate at the present time that 69 per cent of a city's population ride the streetcar ten times a week, and 78 percent six times a week. Thus the advantages of visual car ad displays are great—and at a minimum expense.

One may use whole coverage (on every public conveyance) or one-half or one-quarter service. In Pittsburgh we used the one-quarter service (that is, one quarter of the streetcars of the city), and were permitted to choose the barns from which the ads should operate, also to designate the number of cards allotted each section of the city. This plan allows one to eliminate the unfavorable sections of the city and concentrate on the territory desired. Even in the case of a sectional effort, this visual advertising may be used effectively by choosing the cars and buses in that territory of the city from which one wants to draw his audience.

The National Transitads, Inc., 400 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, represents and operates a combination of companies from coast to coast in over six hundred of our large cities. Local representatives are located in nearly all these cities. It is possible to secure what is known as a "religious, charity rate." This is one half the regular commercial rates. The use of this medium in Pittsburgh for one-quarter coverage cost an average of $44 a week, plus a ten per cent charge for changing the cards each week. (There is no charge if changed only once a month.) The printing cost ranged from $26 to $39 for four hundred cards. The price varied, owing to the extra art work or lettering desired. All cards were printed in two colors. Thus it can be seen that for the price of a medium newspaper advertisement in large cities, one may obtain this giant circulation.

The cards should be printed with few and large words, attractively set up to catch the eye.

Naturally, the three chief factors should be prominent—the subject, the time, and the loca­tion. For example, in advertising the subject "What and Where Is Hell?" "What" and "Where" are medium in size, but the word "Hell" is in large red letters and jagged, resembling fire.

"Armageddon" began with a small "A," each letter increasing in size to the end of the word. The same scheme was used for the "Mark of the Beast," starting with a small "M" and increasing in letter size and height until the word "Beast" stood out boldly to catch the attention of all.

The word "Millennium" was spread all the way across the card in a half-moon fashion, starting and ending with the same size "M." Titles may be placed diagonally across the cards, and different backgrounds may be used. Cartoons or pictures are always effective in visual display.

These are but a few simple rudiments. When one begins to use this type of advertising, he will find there will be a vast realm of attractive layouts possible. Watch the car cards of the national advertisers for suggestive layouts.

We have a gripping and vital message of life and death for a judgment-bound people. We must forcefully extend the invitation to every man, woman, and child to hear, know, and rejoice in God's last message. Use of this car card visual advertising method will aid in reaching the masses. It has penetrating power and a thorough coverage combined, and is truly effective in fulfilling its purpose.

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By ANDREW C. FEARING, Conference Evangelist, West Pennsylvania

March 1944

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