By Garland Pollard
We get so obsessed with technology in advertising that we forget that it is still advertising. So it is great to see it when a simple advertising concept arrives. One such concept is Sarasota’s I Pedal Ads, a bicycle-powered billboard.
In most areas, zoning and sign restrictions have become so severe that there are fewer and fewer ways to get the word out. Enter this contraption, which sells for about $500. There is no franchise fee; you just buy the thing and go out and sell some ads.
Sarasota, Florida entrepreneur and limo owner Bob Nickla of Boss Limousine got the concept together, built a prototype, put up a website and started selling them on the internet at the website ipedalads.com. We heard about it, and thought of some uses other than as a mobile billboard company:
- Pharmaceutical promotions: In many hospitals, pharma reps are banned from giving out gifts. It can easily be used in a medical campus to promote certain drugs.
- Universities: Companies could take it to university settings to hand out freebies or promote books, food and the like.
- Door-to-door delivery: With the addition of a carrying area in the trailer, it would be a perfect regular promotion for a restaurant, drugstore or pizza delivery service; restaurants would just buy one, and leave their banner up as they took food around.
- Restaurant promotions: Restaurants and food shops can give away free samples and menus in busy pedestrian areas.
- Malls: This would be an excellent addition for a mall; the mall management could license the I Pedal Ads to one person, who could then set up a schedule of promotions for tenants. For instance, the Macy’s chick who gives away perfume samples or the Asian eatery owner giving away chicken samples could travel up and down the mall, livening up the mall scene. Or alternately, the mall management could buy one for the mall, and allow store owners to use it for one hour each week, with prime shopping hours raffled off to tenants.
- Theme Parks and Resorts: One issue when guests get to a destination is to get visitors to spend. How about a mobile promotion to hand out freebies and coupons for shops and restaurants in the park.
- Visitor Bureaus and Chamber of Commerce: Very often, visitor bureau and chamber of commerce staff in a resort area sits behind a counter. Getting out on an I Pedal Ads with coupons, menus and visitor information just might be the ticket to selling tourists on staying an extra night, or just eating dinner out.