Corporate Eye

Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby Marries Interactive with Ambient Media

For the second time in a week, I’m writing about creative ambient advertising, because I stumbled on another great example.  Like Caribou Coffee, Yahoo! has some unique outdoor advertising going on at bus stops.  Instead of warming people waiting for buses in Minnesota like Caribou Coffee, Yahoo! is pitting 20 bus stops in San Fransisco against each other in a series of interactive games called the Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby.

Check out the image below (taken by a team member from PSFK last month) to see what the Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby looks like in person.  People are encouraged to upload their own photos to Flickr and tag them with “Bus Stop Derby.”  Tagged photos are displayed on the Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby web page.


You can also view the Yahoo! Bus Derby video below:

Yahoo! installed its Bus Stop Derby touch-screen interactive games on 20 bus shelters around San Fransisco, California.  Players begin by identifying which of those 20 neighborhoods they want to play for.  There are four games to choose from and players can choose to play in head-to-head live matches against players at other bus shelters, or they can play independently.  The Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby launched in November 2010 and is coming to the end of its two-month cycle soon.

The Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby has gotten a lot of publicity during its short two-month life with publications such as Fast Company, Gizmodo, AdWeek’s AdFreak blog, and more writing about it.

The winning neighborhood will get a free concert from the band OK Go who shot to fame thanks to a clever music video which became a viral Web sensation. Below is the video that started it all for OK Go.

Kudos to Yahoo! for coming up with a creative, interactive, and entertaining marketing initiative that is surely just the beginning of this type of interactive outdoor advertising and ambient media.  Hopefully, this marketing campaign will help you think creatively about your own brand advertising and promotions.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.