Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Launch Mobile Media takes billboards on the road

Four months ago, Launch Mobile Media
joined Fort Wayne
's advertising mix, moving billboards from the side of the road to the road itself. Launch's truck-mounted signs can carry an advertiser's message through traffic or stand stationary, providing a visual backdrop for an event or serving as an alternative to other forms of outdoor advertising. The display panels also can scroll through multiple messages, giving Launch the opportunity to accommodate several advertisers at once.

Prior to Launch's launch, I'd had several conversations with co-workers and clients about whether mobile billboards were a viable option in a city the size of Fort Wayne. The conventional wisdom said that Fort Wayne was too small a market—and I had always agreed with the conventional wisdom. But I decided to talk to Launch to give them the opportunity to respond to my doubts.

Last week, I spoke with Nicholas Cochran, one of Launch’s owners. Nicholas gave me an overview of the business and highlighted some of their successes during their first four months. He explained some of the ways in which mobile billboards compete favorably with other forms of outdoor advertising, and described some technologies that his company was considering to make their medium even more effective. Nicholas also detailed some of the early successes that his company has achieved, including one client who signed a 12-month extension after just two months with Launch.

Did Nicholas change my mind about mobile billboards in Fort Wayne? Well, I’m pretty stubborn, but he did get me thinking. And I’m planning to learn more about Launch to see if mobile billboards are a better (beware of oncoming pun) vehicle than I originally thought. After all, a lot of entrepreneurs—and marketershave done pretty well betting against conventional wisdom.

Now that Launch's trucks have been on the road for a few months, have you seen them? Has anyone used mobile billboards, either in Fort Wayne or elsewhere, to advertise their business? What do you think?

Photo: Launch Mobile Media


MichaelK said...

It seems like an almost offensive waste of gas to me, aside from being a distraction to drivers while on the road.

Rachel said...

First of all thanks for this post. Great to get the backstory of the strange new advertising opportunities coming available in the Fort.

Over at BPOTS, MichaelK and I agree on about nothing. However here at SBB, I'd like to echo what he says. Until Launch can tell us what they are hauling around other than rotating billboards, I'm not exactly thinking this is a good idea. Do they actually deliver goods?

If I'm an advertiser trying to promote a "green" message, watching a truck drive around all day with no other purpose than my billboard, this is ridiculous idea.

MichaelK said...

(Actually, Rachel, we actually agree on more than you might think. I just tend to speak up more often when I don't agree with something...)

Anonymous said...

I admit I sat behind it at a light and watched the ads. When you're bored at the light there's nothing better to do. But I can't tell you what the ads were.

I'm guessing they're more likely to cause an accident than increase sales. It is better than those moving billboards on the side of the road. People with ADD can't resist watching those. Watch for the people veering to the right.

However there is one better example of vehicular marketing manslaughter. Branded cars. In some cases it works (Geek Squad). However, it's not always corporate "driven." some people have taken their love of products too far. There is a Monopoly decorated car driving around this city. I have no idea if Parker Brothers is paying this fool.

But to the paint shop that did it- shame on you. My eyes have value.

Beth said...

As an advertising vehicle (pardon the pun), I really don't see much difference between this and any other type of outdoor advertising as far is its ability to act as a distraction. I could almost bless it if the trucks were used for something constructive -- say, something like a moving van for women who are victims of domestic violence, or the under-privileged. They could pay a nominal fee and the rest of the expense could be under-written by the advertisers. If it were publicized correctly, It would be good PR for the advertisers and reinforce the positive message of the ad.

Tim said...

I saw one last week (Jan 4)while walking down Main Street. It was advertising Santa Clause visits at Jefferson Pointe......I think....

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