Marriage in Hell

Series3-SEView500.jpgThe daily just dropped some knowledge about the ad trucks that are increasingly seen on Austin streets. Admobile has brought its tri-paneled diesel trucks to town, pimping messages around Austin hotspots 50 hours each week.

If you’re jonesing to serve up some corporate propaganda from a “fresh” mobile perspective, then this is your lucky day. They charge $1.20 per thousand impressions, which is the ad industry metric that assumes it’s actually possible to track how many people are reached by a mobile outdoor medium.

Just imagine how effective your ad will be when it’s blocking motorists views of stop lights, oncoming traffic, or a nice sunset. Consider the brand building benefits of having your company cut off a potential customer during rush hour. And you know that somebody’s eventually going to get rear-ended by one of these mobile ad trucks, so that should really put your business over the top.

Is it a good thing to torture the same commuters with the same ads for 20 minutes while everyone sits in gridlock, especially when tri-screen diesel trucks are contributing to it? The ad buyer’s wet dream is a captive audience, but it has to be the right audience. A disgruntled pack of violent commuters isn’t really anyone’s target market, except maybe for gun manufacturers and counseling.

Toss in the rising cost of oil and declining air quality, and mobile advertising seems like an idea doomed to premature obsolescence. Unless, of course, it’s applied to existing vehicle fleets rather than a new, stand-alone advertising effort. Think UPS, beer distributors, and Yellow Freight, but now think of them broadcasting interchangable advertising. It reminds me of Blade Runner but without the cool androids or Joanna Cassidy’s snake, which is to say it is highly unappealing.

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