Back in July, I was laying out at Redington Beach in Saint Petersburg, Florida, when all of a sudden, every beachgoer’s head immediately looked out at the water simultaneously. The horn came from a boat passing by (which don’t mind the political supporters holding up signs screaming who knows what).
But what caught everyone’s attention for the next 60 seconds was the billboard-sized television on the boat advertising face masks and social distancing guidelines to anyone out on the beach. We’re no strangers to seeing beach advertisements and banners go by–but when it comes to “pandemic advertising”, it’s time to get creative and fast.
Indeed, COVID-19 has presented a new opportunity for companies when it comes to adtech and revenue generation, especially for rideshare companies, whose industry has been particularly impacted, with once-regular riders no longer needing transportation to and from the airport, meetings, and other social events.
Both Uber and Lyft have reported double-digit year-over-year declines in ridership since the coronavirus pandemic has been ongoing.
It’s silly to think that rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft haven’t utilized the same advertising techniques that taxicabs have utilized for years, regardless of whether you were in New York City or any other major city like Tampa, Chicago, or Dallas.
So how can companies utilize rideshare companies to help increase ad distribution and revenue generation?
For major cities like Tampa, COVID-19 has encouraged startups like Nickelytics to integrate its technology with major companies like Uber and Lyft to help keep the rideshare industry and adtech industry breathing. Back in June, the Techstars-backed company offered gig economy drivers the opportunity to generate supplemental income by placing advertising on their car–through its proprietary ad-tech shield.
Now, brands can advertise their business on-the-go with decals on rideshare vehicles for just $100/month per vehicle.
By utilizing high-mileage car drivers (minimum 250 miles per week) to carry a brand’s message, Nickelytics, empowers brands, small or large, to integrate their message into targeted communities and demographics while allowing driver’s to earn additional income for the miles they drive with that advertising in and on their vehicle. Back in January (as COVID-19 first hit), Nickelytics was selected to participate in Techstars’ Smart Mobility Accelerator mentorship-driven program, according to TechCrunch.
So how does it work?
The company uses tracking technology to log each “impression” or passenger who hailed a ride. It then takes that data and targets those consumers with digital ads. But the real magic, according to the company’s CEO, is in the data.
“Our proprietary technology tracks who sees the ad and analyzes the demographics,” says Nickyletics CEO Judah Longgrear, adding that they even “capture-device ID for the ad on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.”
Both the decals and ad-shield, along with full vehicle wraps, are the company’s physical products, which aim to protect rideshare drivers and passengers, similar to the decades-old traditional taxicab advertising model. If individuals can drive with ordinary decals on their cars, how about adding some professionalism into that model as well.
And if you’re a rideshare driver that travels daily back and forth between Tampa and St. Pete, this definitely isn’t a bad idea, considering the types of passengers you are likely to encounter. Florida’s market could use additional service.
“We want to promote the fact that we have active campaigns for a number of clients across Florida, and are looking for drivers who qualify that are interested in making more money. Once they have the ads wrapped in their cars all they have to do is drive like it’s another day in the office. It’s that simple and it’s a win-win for everyone,” Longgrear emphasizes.
Similar to requirements of applying to be a driver for Uber and Lyft, Nickyletics also has its driver specified qualifications to join as a Brand Ambassador, such as the year and make and model of the vehicle, mileage requirements, and of course, a valid driver’s license.
What we are seeing here is the future of rideshare in the gig-economy, in what we soon hope to be a post-COVID-19 era.