How many of us drive past dozens of billboards on our way to work or while taking a trip? How many of those do you actually pay attention to? Despite the transition to digital billboards, this form of roadside advertising has stayed the same for decades, but a set of German companies think they’ve found a way to get more ads in front of drivers, and they will be a lot harder to miss.
Mercedes-Benz, Visonect and RoadAds Interactive partnered together to develop the solution that places location-based ads on the back of trucks via giant three-by-five-foot E Ink displays. (Think a giant Kindle)
They may not look pretty with the low resolution, grayscale display, that suffers from the same refresh rate that Kindle owners are familiar with, but it gets the job done.
The displays hold up in harsh weather conditions, and with built-in 4G, wi-fi, and GPS, the trucks can theoretically deliver very specific ads localized to their location. Hungry? There’s a McDonald’s at the next exit.
We have grown to be experts at ignoring ads, whether they are on websites, before a YouTube video, and yes, even those flashy billboards that are out of sight before we can finish reading them if we wanted to. Having the ad staring us in the face as we drive though is another story. Is it effective? Sure, but I know already when I’m stuck behind a truck, the first thing I want to do is find a way around the obstruction, and with an added ad, I can’t say I’ll be less eager to rid the truck from my view.
In November, five of the trucks fitted with the E Ink displays will hit the roads for a trial program before the first 1000 orders become commercially available in June 2017.