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Clever cheese ad on bus shelters

A cheese ad on a Commercial-Broadway bus shelter.

A cheese ad on a Commercial-Broadway bus shelter.

Just for fun! I’ve seen this cheese ad in a few bus shelters and thought it was a great use of the space :)


  • By ;-), May 5, 2010 @ 9:31 am

    I remember this shelter on Pender about 10 years ago where there was a reward if you could smash th reinforced glass you could get a sizable reward. Global TV did a story on this. People with steel toe boots broke the mount, but not the glass.

    In another ad there was a pair of jeans behind the glass for people to steal. The idea is the advertiser prepaid for repairs and clean up for the theft.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 5, 2010 @ 9:35 am

    Very clever! Ads really can be memorable when they go beyond plain posters and take advantage of the setting.

  • By zack, May 5, 2010 @ 10:03 am

    Mmmmm! So tasty! You’ll find yourself eating the whole bus shelter!! LOL :D

  • By Heidi W., May 5, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    These aren’t local, but I saw this a few months back and found it inspiring:

  • By Andrew S, May 5, 2010 @ 10:26 am

    Yum! I guess the cheese won’t light up at night cause they took out the fluorescent tubes =P

  • By JustMe, May 5, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    McDonalds had a couple of good ads in Vancouver. The 4th ad on the list is on Burrard in front of the Sutton Place Hotel. The last ad in the list is somewhere on Main Street.

  • By zack, May 5, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    Very Cheeezy!! :)

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 5, 2010 @ 11:27 am

    Andrew S: For some reason I recall that ad being illuminated at night. Maybe they just moved the lighting a bit?

  • By Bryan, May 5, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Somehow i found the shelter filled with money the funniest because every time someone saw it they’d kick the glass a few times then give up. Still… you would think they would do something like this for Halloween? The ad space filled with fake heads or something equally creepy.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 5, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    JustMe: I had no idea those McDonalds ads were around town. If anyone has photos, please share!

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 5, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

    Heidi W: Wow. Those bus ads are amazing. Although I’d be hesitant to try the Fitness First one out :)

    Edit: I just noticed that the cash ad discussed by Bryan and ;-) is pictured in your link!

  • By Andrew S, May 5, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    Hmmm maybe they did remove like one tube (horizontal), but maybe the two round hole-ish things at the bottom are tricking me into assuming the fluorescent tubes were vertically mounted =P It’d be cool if the cheese man glowed in the dark =D or just glowed yellow =D

  • By Ric, May 5, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    Andrew, your right they did remove the fluorescent tubes. The fluorescent tubes in the ad display boxes at bus shelters are mounted vertically. The round holes on the bottom are one of the two fluorescent tube sockets. I could even see the ballast (transformer that makes the fluorescent tubes light) mounted vertically on the left side of the box

    I remember seeing some of those ad boxes at the bus shelters at airport station last year where the ads were removed from the boxes and the fluorescent tubes were visible. so I remember the direction that the fluorescent tubes are mounted.

    Even if only one fluorescent tube was removed the ad still would not light up since fluorescent tubes are wired in a series circuit. If you remove or break one tube or if one tube burns out or is loose in its socket they both would not light up as there is a break in the path. Both of them need to be working in order for them to work. The only exception is if there are two ballasts, each powering one tube. However, in the case of the ad boxes at bus shelters, one ballast powers all the tubes. Bus shelter ad boxes typically contain 2-4 fluorescent tubes. In the box at this bus shelter, there are only 2 tubes and one ballast. The ones that I saw at airport station had 4 tubes and 2 ballasts each (each ballast powering 2 tubes.)

  • By ;-), May 5, 2010 @ 8:00 pm

    Here’s a more description of that cash ad…

    Yes, it was the one on Pender street I was referring to.

  • By Cliff, May 5, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    Ah, if only I knew about the money one! There’s a few scientific solutions to getting the money out of there that I bet nobody tried!

    All these adverts are pretty cool, the other one I liked was the reverse McDonald’s half-arch. Smart.

  • By zack, May 6, 2010 @ 12:03 pm

    This is just plain weird, do companies really want people to smash bus shelters at the expense of money rewards?

    A bus shelter displaying huge sums of(real money)is not only crazy, but it can also be very dangerous. It basically gives criminals an excuse to smash glass windows on bus shelters.

    Oh, and did I also mention the “damage cost?” Eventually, it is bus shelter companies who would have to pay for the damage.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 6, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    Well, I would assume they had calculated the risks and what kind of consequence it would incur, and were satisfied with the analysis. The security glass was really the product being tested, and nobody did wind up getting through, so I guess that proved their point!

  • By Andrew S, May 6, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

    Okay, I opened JustMe’s McDonald’s ads link and saw the coffee bean one. Wouldn’t that be really annoying to open the bus shelter ad display and remove coffee beans everyday? =P

  • By Cliff, May 7, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    The thing about the cash one though… was it an open invitation to smash it, or was it a “I’ll just put this here and you people behave” sort of thing?

    If it was an open invitation to do our worst, grabbing a sledgehammer and making a full run at it would probably something I’d try among other things (Diamond cutting wheels, heh heh heh)

  • By ;-), May 7, 2010 @ 2:13 am

    It was just sheets of paper, only the top bills were real. Sledge did nothing like steel toe work boots.

    I think people even tried driving cars into it during the night.

    It was a gimmic for an advertising firm above the shelter. There was cameras outside that monitored activity.

  • By Andrew S, May 14, 2010 @ 10:00 am

    Okay, yesterday I happened to need to ride on the 99, so I got a close up look at the cheese ad. And it turns out they took out the fluorescent tubes and put in those mini halogen lights (like the under-cabinet lights you might have at home)!!

  • By Ric, May 14, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

    Hmm, Andrew I don’t think they would have been able to put in those mini halogen lights into the ad box. Where would they have gotten the power from?

    The power source for the fluorescent lights could not be used to light those halogen lights as those mini halogen lights are low voltage (12 volts) where as fluorescents operate on line voltage (120 volts).

    Perhaps, they used solar lights???

  • By Andrew S, May 15, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

    Hmm maybe… but isn’t the ballast basically just a step-down transformer (from 120 V down to maybe 12 V or 20 V) — so perhaps that’s where the low-voltage lights get their power… or maybe there’s a receptacle inside the ad box and they plugged the low-voltage transformer for the lights there =)

    I could have snapped a picture of the lights =P The lights were recessed into a piece of 2×4 placed at the bottom of the ad box.

    But there’s also a 120 VAC version of the mini halogen lights (the previous owners of my home installed those and they use up a LOT of power, so I changed them =D).

    Solar lights would be pretty cool though — self powered lights that turn on even if there’s a power outage. Too bad the cheese man isn’t a glow-in-the-dark figure =P

  • By Ric, May 16, 2010 @ 1:50 am

    Andrew, nope. The ballast is a transformer but not a complete step down transformer. The ballast first increases the voltage to about 200 volts to start up the tubes (fluorescent tubes require a quick burst of high voltage to ignite the electrodes and gases in the tube) and once the tubes have lit, reduces the voltage to about 60 VDC to keep the tubes lit. I took an electrical course at Kwantlen and learned how fluorescents lights work and why they require a ballast.

    Yes, there are 120 VAC versions of those mini halogen lights but the fluorescent ballast in the ad box will instantly burn out the bulbs of the halogen lights when power runs to the ad box, usually at night when the street lights come on.

    The lights in the ad boxes are only on at night. When the street lights turn on once it starts to get dark, the lights in the ad box comes on, and turns off in the morning when the street lights turn off.

    There are no power receptacles in ad boxes, only fluorescent tubes and the required amount of ballasts.

    You think that perhaps they could have ran an extension cord into the ad box and plugged the lights into a near by street lamp pole, since there are usually receptacles on the poles?

    Are the round things on the bottom of the ad box the mini halogen lights?

  • By Andrew S, May 16, 2010 @ 10:34 am

    Perhaps they did run an extension cord into the ad box (I didn’t notice it =P). But okay, for sure they can’t be powered by the ballast.

    And yes, I am sure the two round things on the bottom of the ad box are the mini halogen lights.

  • By Eddie, June 8, 2010 @ 6:15 pm

    “You think that perhaps they could have ran an extension cord into the ad box and plugged the lights into a near by street lamp pole, since there are usually receptacles on the poles?”

    There are electrical receptacles on the poles? Like, actual receptacles that you would find in your house?

  • By Ric, June 10, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    Eddie, yes there are receptacles on the street lamp poles. All street lamp poles contain receptacles and I mean actual receptacles like ones that you would find in your house.

    They are usually used to plug in Christmas lights that they wrap around the trees and lamp poles during December.

    However, these receptacles are only energized at night when the street lamps turn on, so that whatever is plugged in to them usually Christmas lights are only on at night.

    The same goes for the ad boxes at bus shelters. The lights in the ad boxes turns on when the street lamps turn on and turns off when the street lamps turn off, as they run off the same line as the street lamps

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