Urgent Couriers Managing Director Steve Bonnici says Mobile AdVert is aimed at businesses wanting to benefit from brand exposure and provides a technology smart alternative to billboard or bus advertising.
And he says it's very satisfying to get such a big client on board first up, particularly after some of the disparaging comments made by the naysayers when the idea was first mooted.
"They said: 'Haven't they seen all the empty billboards around town. They're wasting their time.' So it's nice to go back to them and say 'well, here we are and it's working'."
Bonnici says it made sense to leverage the visibility and mobility of Urgent's vehicles in the greater Auckland area, as well as the company's GPS network (clients can track vehicles on the website to see how widely their messages are being spread).
"All day, every day, we're around and we're visible," he says.
Michael Boggs, head of business and government for TelstraClear, says the company was looking for an innovative and cost effective way of raising its brand profile among businesses throughout the Auckland region.
“Given the synergies between Urgent Couriers’ and TelstraClear’s business-to-business operations, we decided Mobile AdVert was a natural fit. Promoting our business network via the ‘urgent’ couriers zipping around town is certainly a very effective way of getting our message out there, not least because the colourful cars are real head-turners,” he says.
So far Bonnici hasn't got much in the way of data on eyeball hours for the scheme, although some "very rough and ready" research recorded about 3500 people looking directly at one wrapped vehicle in one day.
“Each of our vehicles covers between 2,000 and 5,000 kilometres of Auckland streets each month [and are on display between the hours of 8am to 6pm] making them a highly visible and cost-effective advertising medium,” he says.
He would not divulge the amount Telstra Clear paid to wrap 17 vehicles but says the base rate is $2,300 for one vehicle for one month (this includes the $1000 for wrapping). He says that price decreases when a large number of vehicles are branded.
"One quarter of the fleet is available [for wrapping]. We still need to have a presence ourselves," he says.
He says the drivers, who take a commission and are screened before being granted permission to have their vehicles wrapped, are enamoured with the scheme.
"It's passive income for them. They give up two to three hours to have their vehicle wrapped. But they are representing someone else's brand, so [the driver] has to be careful not the raise the ire of other road users."
He says Smart Move, which wraps smart cars, is a different kettle of fish to Mobile AdVert because the cars are driven by commuters who pay a fee to drive the vehicle and must park the car on the street day and night.