short-term and long-term advertising both work, just not at the same time

Les Binet and Peter Field are co-authors of a very well-known marketing book called The Long and the Short of it, which you can buy from Jeff Bezos here.

In it, the pair discuss how most brands would benefit from spending 60% of their advertising budget on long-term, brand-building work, and the remaining 40% on short-term performance marketing.

The idea being if more people are aware of your brand in the first place then your sales campaigns have a better chance of being successful. Seems pretty self-explanatory and full of common sense but that doesn't stop most companies from ignoring the advice.

Where so many go wrong is trying to both things at the same time. 

Orlando Wood, chief innovation officer at System1 talks about two types of advertising – showmanship (brand) and salesmanship (sales). Salesmanship is advertising that appeals to the rational left brain, while showmanship appeals to the more emotional right brain... meaning we struggle to process both approaches at the same time.

In the unlikely event bus companies did some brand-building work, I'm pretty sure most of them would fall into this trap - as none could resist filling any available space with a message about frequency, price, or using the app. It's pretty much in their marketing DNA to assume the customer needs to know as much as possible in every piece of communication. 

Don't. Just decide what each piece of work is trying to achieve and stick to your guns. 

According to Les and Peter, it will pay off in the long run.