When you’re in advertising, one of the main goals is to reach a large audience.
That’s not an issue with FerryAds.com. When you’re responsible for display ads on the Staten Island Ferry and the Staten Island and Manhattan terminals, the audience is already there.
“There are some days we reach 93,000 riders. And with Empire Outlets (opening in the spring), that’s going to bring us another 15,000 to 20,000,” said Teresa Rampulla, director of marketing, media, and advertising sales.
“There’s a lot of national and bigger advertisers on the boats because the media buyers understand how the buyer works. They see you’re not just reaching those 75,000-93,000 people each weekday or 40,000-60,000 each Saturday or Sunday,” said CEO David Rampulla. “You’re reaching them almost every day. From Monday through Friday, they see it again and again, and you’re getting millions of impressions.”
With numbers like that, people may say that’s the reason FerryAds.com has been around for over 30 years and is celebrating its 25th year with the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Although that helps, the Rampulla duo also know it’s about not being complacent.
“We have the largest out-of-home (OOH) advertising in the downtown Manhattan area and Wall Street area with massive wallscapes seen from inside and outside the terminal. Our static locations vary in size and scope to meet the local, as well as, national budgets,” explained Teresa, “making the OOH media accessible to most media plans.”
“We started investing years ago in large-format LEDs inside the terminal. Right now, we have five LED billboards and the smallest is 10-foot by 24-foot. It’s a full color, large-format LED,” he said. “They’re very impressive and give you a lot more latitude in running full-motion video.”
“We now have Wi-Fi, which is just being upgarded now to real high-speed Wi-Fi. So, when someone goes on in the Ferry terminal, they’ll be on the Wi-Fi during the entire boat ride until they reach the other terminal,” said David, who added everyday upon signing in, riders will see an ad for a few seconds and then they’ll be free to use the Wi-Fi on smart phones or terminal kiosks.
Since FerryAds.com’s success is predicated on maintaining large ridership, the director doesn’t feel that’s in danger anytime soon.
“I like the fact that it’s a complete commuter hub. I love the fact that when you get off the ferry, you have the buses and trains right there so you can get anywhere in Staten Island without a problem from the ferry,” said Teresa. “And if you’re in Manhattan, you don’t have to leave the terminal because the 1 and R lines are right below the terminal. Plus, there are buses right outside.
“On both sides of the New York waterway, you have everything you need to get anywhere in the city or Brooklyn or throughout Staten Island,” she added. “While both terminals are a destination with restaurants, bars, shopping, and even live entertainment.”
It may seem FerryAds.com — which features a wonderful photo blog for photographers to post marvelous ferry-related art — may not need any help, but the CEO said staying with the Chamber for some many years is an easy decision.
“When we first joined, we wanted to be a part of the business community on Staten Island,” said David. “The Chamber is a great resource. They’re connected with all the different businesses on Staten Island. So, whenever we need a referral or we need someone to talk to at a specific location, the Chamber can actually open the door for us.”