In an age of digital advertising, adverCar is turning your daily commute into a money-making venture. And they’re using a form of advertising that’s been around for years.
The two-year-old startup matches advertisers with everyday people. Selected participants are paid $100 a month to drive around with removable ads on the sides, hoods and rear windows of their vehicles.
"We actually did some testing," says co-founder and CEO Neil Turner, "and we felt $100 was the amount where we would be able to attract family drivers that felt they can pay gas, insurance, vacation. That was right around the amount we needed to attract the kind of driver that we would like."
Campaigns usually run anywhere from 45 days to two months. Turner, and co-founder Alex Goss, came up with the idea while commuting.
"[Alex] noticed that a taxicab had an ad on the top," Turnder told Breakout. "He said 'hey, how come there are thousands of cars in both directions and they don’t have ads?' So we thought that everyday consumers can make money just like taxi and bus companies."
Technology is the key for adverCar. GPS tracking tells the company exactly which zip codes you travel through each day. They use this data to provide advertisers with indepth information about the reach of their ads.
"The response from our drivers has been great," Turner says. "They can’t believe they’re gonna get to drive around and get paid for something they normally do. And advertisers are very excited as well."
1-800-flowers and the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans are among advercar’s diverse client list.
"We have worked with digital companies like UrbanSitter," Turner points out. "It’s a company that matches moms and parents with babysitters online. We’ve also worked with McDonald’s (MCD). So I think we do really well also with fixed position businesses that have locations in a market that want to connect to the communities."
Turner believes the adverCar model can compete with companies like Google (GOOG) when it comes to advertising because its approach is tightly targeted.
"We realized that advertisers want to target on a geo level and they also want their advertising to be social. We know every commuter’s routes and our technology actually matches advertisers to roadways, shopping centers, districts, states, so we actually use digital. We bring the digital side of advertising to out of home."
But this model only works if enough qualified drivers sign up.
"A lot of our friends would ask us, 'who’s gonna put a sign on their car for $100 a month,'" Turner recalls. "And one of the things that we found is sometimes in the beginning drivers would want to keep the signs on. The most effective way that we recruit drivers is through our own product. So every car has an adverCar sticker on it and people will see those on the roadways and they will go to our website and sign up."
It's working so far, and Turner is optimistic about his company’s future.
"Wherever traffic goes, I believe adverCar can go. There’s 220 million cars and light trucks in the US...so we feel like this can be done everywhere."