Trash receptacle advertising is a method of advertising that can do both. Next time you are walking around town, count how many trashcans you see. Since the most trashcans are similar and boring, why not let advertisers spice them up a little and make them unique? Although this method is on trial in some locations, one can expect to see this method more frequently as advertising clutter gets more and more.

Reasons for using trash receptacles to advertise

Trash receptacle advertising, if done right, will capture people’s attention when they do an everyday thing, which is throw trash into a trashcan. This is a method of advertising that people will not be able to block because if the ad is unique it will catch the person throwing away trash off guard. Advertisements that are placed on trashcans will also obtain a high level of reach and frequency. If this method of advertising was used in a major city and hight traffic areas like malls in Nairobi think how many people would see the ad in the time it was being run. In addition to the unbelievable reach this method of advertising would receive, it could also obtain a high level of frequency if a company placed the same advertisement, or many different advertisements that advertised the same product or brand, on many trashcans throughout an area. If a company advertised their name or product on 300 trashcans in and area of New York City, it is a guarantee that many people would notice, and become familiar with that particular product or brand.

Although the cost of advertising on trash cans would depend on the area, it is guaranteed to be a lower amount than what it would cost to advertise on a billboard or on television. While an actual price of running an ad on a trashcan could not be found, by using this, it enables companies to advertise in the worlds largest markets at low out of pocket media costs.


Some may think that targeting an audience would be difficult through trash receptacle advertising because many different people will be viewers of the ads. While it is true that many different people will view the ad, companies can use this method and target their audience geographically. Products that are more expensive and brands that are classier than most others can advertise on trashcans that are in richer areas. The opposite is an option as well.


Limitations of using trash receptacles to advertise

Limitations of this method of advertising may depend on the area. In many areas approval to advertise this way will need to be received. Another negative aspect of advertising  on a trash can is the idea that the company’s advertisement is on a trash can, drawing a close comparison between the company or product and trash.


A company has a few things to think about when scheduling to run their ads on trashcans. In a City environment, one could think of the time of year that the city has the most visitors. While major cities are crowded year round, the holiday season would be an especially good time of the year to run advertisements on a trashcan. While one could make the argument that a continuous approach to running their ads would be beneficial, the contrary seems to be truer. If a company ran their ads on trashcans continuously, many would soon start to ignore the advertisement because it would become just another advertisement. The best approach would be to use a fighting strategy when advertising on a trashcan. The reason being is, if people see the ad followed by a period of time where they do not see the ad, the advertising campaign for a given company will stay new and unique. A pulsing strategy would also be beneficial because this method will allow companies to do a lot of advertising over the holiday season and less advertising over seasons that are not known to be popular spending seasons. Pulsing will also allow trashcan advertising to stay relatively unique.


The impact that trash receptacle advertising has on its viewers all depends on the company or product being advertised. It wouldn’t be a smart idea for a clothing company to advertise on a trashcan, because, well it’s a trash can. I would recommend that companies that use trashcans to advertise make a connection to what they are advertising and the trashcan itself. For example, if TRUTH ran a trashcan advertising campaign about how unattractive cigarettes are, they could picture a young adult smoking and under the picture have a line that says something like, “smoking is trashy.” If companies used puns while advertising on trash receptacles, people might find the advertisement more catch and unique. A company could also use the line, “we make our competition look like trash.” The use of puns on trashcan advertising would make the advertisements stand out even more than they already would.


Successful Usage

The companies that would benefit most from using this method of advertising would be ones that are trying to increase awareness. Trash cans will not make somebody go buy something. They simply will let the person walking by know about a company, product, or danger in a product, in a quick glance. Few people will stop and read five lines about a product that is printed on a trashcan. A company’s best bet is to run a big picture with a slogan on a trashcan when advertising. Trashcans are a great way to create awareness, not teach people about something.

In the future, as advertising space becomes limited, you can expect to see trash can advertise becoming more popular.
  1. sarababa95 says:

    […] Trash Can (Waste) Advertising. (kenyanmarketing.wordpress.com) […]

  2. […] Trash Can (Waste) Advertising. (kenyanmarketing.wordpress.com) […]

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