Taking after our saucy friends in Sin City, Aussie cabs could be fully decked out with in-car advertising by as early as next year.
And Queensland is first cab off the rank (see what we did there?), launching a game changer with fare media – an elaborate system of touchscreen tablets integrated into the passenger side headrests of cabs.
With an initial installation of 420 screens in Brisbane and the Gold Coast expanding to 2000 screens by 2016, the content in the advertisements will reach around 500 000 people a month.
“The system includes interactive formats including apps, games and surveys which are 100 per cent custom built allowing our clients to create campaigns to target a specific audience without the hard sell,” fare media’s Luke O’Connor said.
A recent survey of taxi passengers found they are primarily under 40 years of age with about 60 per cent in the technology thirsty 18 to 30-year age bracket.
Developed by fare media’s Chinese partner company touchmedia, the technology is proving a very effective marketing tool overseas.
“Companies have found their brand recall is extremely high while their dollar outlay is considerably less than traditional TV advertising” O’Connor added.
The Taxi Council of Queensland gave the go ahead to the fare media system after recognising the benefits to the passenger and industry, according to chief operating officer Wayne Crookes.
“It’s the next stage of customer service in cabs and when you provide that level of service you get continual growth,” Crookes said.
Professional Taxis on the Gold Coast has the screens in more than 50 per cent of its fleet and owner Zara Trengrove said it has made the cab ride more enjoyable.
“The screens have actually become a positive conversation starter between the cabbie and passenger and the drivers love it because it allows them to be more personable,” Trengrove said.
Fare media plans to expand the technology to all major Australian cities along the eastern seaboard with a target reach of up to 8-thousand taxis.