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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Selling ads on a vehicle garners healthy income

In Scottsdale, static outdoor billboard advertising is not allowed. This statute has paved the way for some alternative forms of advertising. For example, car dealerships will have men in Uncle Sam costumes on their street corners waving people in to buy a car. There are balloons at every apartment complex, and usually someone with an arrow pointing the way to reserve your new home. At night when you drive down the main thoroughfare, you will see commercial vans strategically parked with the company name painted on them. Then there is the king of advertisements – the mobile billboard that drives around all day long.

A company called Go Mobile advertising seems to be the biggest player in the transit advertising industry. According to their website, the company was started when the founder was looking for a mobile advertiser for another business in Seattle Washington. He had a difficult time finding one, and finally met a man in Florida, Bill Ostergaard, who was building a prototype of one in his garage with his son. Go Mobile hooked up with Bill, and became the marketing arm of the partnership.

Today the company has over 45 employees, and has worked on mobile advertising campaigns for some of the leading companies in the US, including Ikea, Miller beer, McDonald’s and GM. Out of home advertising is a $6.8 billion/year industry, and Go Mobile feels they have just touched the surface of what they can do. They have so far sold dozens of vehicles at around $100,000 each. People can buy the vehicles without a franchise fee, and basically start their own business. Included with the price of the vehicle is a driver training manual, sales kit, website, and exclusivity in their own county. The company warns that if you purchase a vehicle you won’t immediately make a profit off of advertisers. There is about a $5000/month expense of hiring a driver, fuel costs, truck lease, insurance, etc. Because of this, they recommend $50,000 in working capital to get started. Up to ten advertisements can be run per hour on the vehicle at approximately 6 minutes each ad.

I think it's an interesting business concept. We see hundreds of advertisements everyday, and expect to see them in certain places so our eyes are somewhat trained not to pay attention to them. However, when I'm in a car I pay attention to the billboard ads driving around because they are unusual. What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think it's an interesting way to advertise and the trucks that I've seen driving around at night definitely do garner attention. My only question is do these trucks do anything else, like deliveries? If not, it would seem like such a waste of gas to drive around in these large vehicles just to advertise. I understand the Seattle fleet runs on Biodiesel, yet what about the trucks outside of Seattle? Also, the vinyl advertisements aren't the most eco-friendly materials - again what a waste if they're not reusing the vinyl for something else.

Anyway, that's pretty much what comes to mind when I see the trucks. :)

BTW, the url is missing an "ad", it should be gomobileadvehicles[dot]com. ;)