Can school bus advertising take off in Dubai?

There are two distinct target markets for these type of advertisements

Last month the RTA announced that it would allow advertising on the side of and inside Dubai’s school buses.

While some have raised concerns about putting ads in front of school children, the RTA has said they will be subject to “standards…in a manner consistent with the rights and protection of school children”.

School bus advertising is a well-established practice, particularly in the US, where it has been widely implemented and well-accepted by brands targeting children and parents.

Campaign Middle East asked Dato’ Manikandamurthy Velayoudam, Group Chairman and Managing Director of SkyBlue Media Group, what kind of brands would be a good fit for school bus ads in Dubai.

“Brands that cater to children, parents, and families would be particularly well-suited. This includes educational institutions, extracurricular activity providers, children’s clothing and toy brands, and family-friendly entertainment options,” he said.

“Also health and wellness products, particularly those focused on children’s nutrition and safety, would find this medium effective. Local businesses, such as paediatric clinics, family restaurants, and recreational centres, could also benefit from this targeted form of advertising, as it allows them to directly reach a relevant and engaged audience.”

There are two distinct target markets for school bus advertisements. External ads are visible to the general public, including other drivers, pedestrians, and the broader community, making them ideal for brands looking to increase general awareness and reach a wider audience.

Internal ads directly engage students and school staff, making them suited to a more targeted messaging.

SkyBlue Media has been at the forefront of this trend, executing campaigns for high-end brands like Rado, Longines, Tissot, Boss, and Hamilton watches, as well as multiple luxury property developers.

Marwa Kabour, Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Al Masood, said: “Utilising school buses for ads, with strict content policies, could be effective.

“Empathetic, respectful messaging can enrich the lives of schoolchildren- this means no makeup, cooking oil or grandma with diapers on school buses.”