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Yes, that's a moving billboard in the lane beside you

Advertising has taken to the streets around metro Jackson. It’s Admobile, and owner Paul Taucher says drivers are doing double takes when they see his trucks with their rotating ads cruising along beside them in traffic.

“Some of the reactions are ‘Hey, look at that, isn’t that neat’, and ‘What a cleaver idea’,” he said. “It’s the only official form of outdoor mobile advertising in the State of Mississippi. We take a standard commercial truck that’s empty inside and put three ads on each side of the truck. The ads rotate every eight seconds. The combination of the unique look and turning ads gets people’s attention.”

These moving billboards came to the state in July 2005, and Taucher became involved last October in what’s called an affiliate agreement. It’s similar to a franchise but he says he doesn’t have to send checks to anyone each month. There are, however, stipulations and guidelines to follow.

Admobile was started by Bob Tarabella in 2002 in Fairhope, Ala. The driving form of billboards is now in more than 200 cities nationwide and in two foreign countries.

Mobile — and
high profile

“In many cities there are waiting lists to get on an Admobile,” Taucher said. “If a company is interested in awareness and name recognition, this is for them. We’re on routes where the most people can see us. We have the potential of being seen by over 55,000 people per day in Hinds, Rankin and Madison counties.”

Currently, Admobile’s three ad-laden trucks drive the Jackson area’s busiest routes, based on traffic counts from the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Those routes include a combination of Lakeland Drive, Interstate 55 Frontage Road, Old Canton Road, Ridgewood Road, County Line Road, Highland Colony Parkway, U.S. 51 and Highway 463 in Northeast Jackson.

“The great thing about this, when measured by the cost to reach 1,000 consumers, is that it is one of the least expensive ways to advertise,” Taucher said. “I think it’s growing. The more people who find out about it and understand it will want to do it. That’s been the case in other cities when they recognize the value of it.”

Brief, bright and easy to read

The rotating messages must be brief, bright and easy to read. Each message stays in place eight seconds before rotating in a wavelike manner or tri vision. The three trucks carry 12 ads each. Businesses wanting exposure are targeted although space has been rented for personal birthday messages. Use is high among car dealerships and retail businesses. The trucks drive five days a week, 10 hours each day.

“Our goal is that people will see the ads during the normal course of their day. We make as many left-hand turns as possible and stay in the center lane as much as we can and try to hit all red lights to expose both sides of the truck,” he said. “We drive so that there is the most exposure — kind of in a loop.”

He says the recall rate is 94% by drivers seeing Admobiles and 80% can recall specific ads or messages. “That’s how we know it works,” Taucher said. “You can’t help but look at us. We put billboards where people are instead of putting ads on billboards that depend on people driving by.”

According to Taucher, Admobile pitched its form of advertising to him, and he was captivated.

“I love sales and marketing and was looking for something new and different to do,” he said. “My job had reached its potential and I needed a challenge. So rather than advertising with Admobile, I bought the affiliate.”

Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at llofton656@aol.com.


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