Renting pollution-spewing delivery trucks as moving billboards is the latest gimic in the US city with the worst air pollution (LA).
Mobile Vision Marketing leases trucks and outfits them with global positioning systems to follow the drivers' routes. Clients then choose whether they want to use an empty truck and tailor the route to a targeted audience or, for less money, put ads on the sides of trucks that run pre-scheduled delivery routes.
When one of the owners is asked what people think about the belching smoke from the trucks, he says he doesn't care as long as they see the ad. This is just one of many new examples of interruptive marketing, the term being used by social media advocates to distinguish between the more open, permission-based, and participative philosophy of communication with audiences, not at them.
Louise Story looks at advertisers' quest for ubiquity [NYTimes] where every blank space is up for bid. Her story contains this nugget about exposure to advertising: the average person living in a city is estimated to be exposed to 5,000 ad messages a day - up from 2,000 30 years ago.
Rohit Bhargava also takes a look at this ubiquity phenomenon, starting with the proposal to allow advertising on the security bins used at airport checkpoints. He goes on to other unexpected places for advertising, and suggests the brands to go with them. I suggest the clean air and alternative fuels folks look at those trucks in LA.
The senior VP of marketing for Perry Ellis, quoted in the NYT piece, has it right:
“We’re always looking for new mediums and places that have not been used before — it’s an effort to get over the clutter,” Mr. de Echevarria said. “But,” he added, “I guess we end up creating more clutter.”
In the social marketing community we are often trying to emulate our commercial counterparts - even if we don't have the same advertising budgets. Even when we do, this is one arena where it's worth considering the costs and benefits of achieving our own forms of ubiquity and the tone we use to try and achieve it.
Cartoon from gapingvoid.