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Smart Billboards; Free Cars

Billboards that advertise by target market analysis, and free cars for everyone
  (+1, -4)
(+1, -4)
  [vote for,

As you drive down the freeway, a few miles before the smart billboard, receivers pick up data about you from a factory-installed transmitter, which you accepted as part of the free car deal (subsidized by the advertisers' fees to be included in the database). The smart billboard analyzes the owners' purchase history data from all the cars it has collected, and the highest scoring ad (corresponding to the car owners' purchase data) in the system's database gets displayed.

Call the system CarsZero. To ensure the advertisers that car owners are legitimately using the system, the transmitter can transmit a code unique to you every time your data is used in billboard ad selection. If your code never gets used (or gets used rarely), the car companies will charge you a sliding fee.

globaltourniquet, May 01 2001

Interactive billboards @ idea-a-day.com http://www.idea-a-d...playDate=10/05/2001
Similar idea. Mobile phones instead of cars, no freebies. [egnor, May 01 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Billboards that target based on your radio station http://slashdot.org...=149&tid=158&tid=99
[davinic, Oct 04 2004]


       No, I am aware of the free billboard car. This is very different, and better. I am not willing to drive around looking like that. Most people aren't. This is directed advertising. And I would not be an eyesore on the road.
globaltourniquet, May 01 2001

       hmm... this sounds like a WIBNI we could get free cars in exchange for targeted advertising, especially considering that it is not presently possible given any current implementation of the mentioned technologies. The question is, if everybody has such a free car, we would each have to belong to many different marketable subsets of Their data, so that when multiple drivers are in close proximity, it would choose the ad for the largest-percentage common factor for all the drivers in viewing range.   

       'course, I'd drive a free car anyday, especially if I could just *not look* at the stupid billboards (and alternatively, maybe concentrate on driving ;) What about fleet maintenance? I'd expect that these advertisers wouldn't presume to stick me with a lemon, because that would preclude inundating me with Their advertising. Right? err..
absterge, May 01 2001

       This is certainly bakable with current technology. A transmitter transmits a code (unique to you) to a receiver on the side of the road that accesses a purchase history database using that code as the key. Surely you are aware that advertisers can access your purchase history by purchasing it from vendors you have bought stuff from. That forms the marketable data subset. And yes, multiple drivers in the proximity of the billboard contribute to the current target market scores, and the highest matching ad gets the spot.   

       Of course the cars would not be BMWs or Lexuses (Lexi?). Just inexpensive economy cars. All other factors of car ownership would remain -- registration and licensing, warranties and maintenance plans. You could limit everyone to one free car every two years. I think this would work. And yes, the advertisers would be interested in making sure the cars were usable to get the return on their investments.
globaltourniquet, May 01 2001

       Not bad, but what if you frequently use products/services you don't want the general populous to know about?
nick_n_uit, May 02 2001

       Pay cash.
globaltourniquet, May 02 2001

       The yearly lease cost for a cheap car is something like $1500 yearly (I'm ignoring the down payment). That's a really cheap car, mind you -- a new Honda Civic leases for over twice that.   

       The CPM (cost per thousand impressions) of outdoor advertising is usually around $2. If we assume that your targeted advertising is *ten times* more valuable (which is very generous compared to the differential value of targeted advertising in other venues), that's a CPM of $20, or 2 cents per impression.   

       That means, supply a free car, you'll need each individual driver to personally see 75,000 targeted ad impressions yearly, or 250 daily. If you spend 40 minutes commuting, that's one targeted ad every ten seconds. The sheer quantity of ads alone will lower their price considerably (after seeing 125 ads on your drive home for ten seconds each, how much are you going to remember?).   

       Now, consider the capital cost of the advertising infrastructure needed to completely cover someone's commute this way. Consider that you can't share the infrastructure with multiple drivers at the same time.   

       Do you see where I'm going here?   

       It's very, very, very hard to support any endeavor with serious per-user costs with advertising revenue. Ad-supported Web sites are collapsing left and right, and you want to give each user a *free car*? What do you think this is, 1999?
egnor, May 02 2001

       This is actually very feasible, technology-wise that is. We already have something similar here in Boston, just implemented differently. Some of the cabs in town have electronic billboards on top of them, and the ads change depending on what part of town they're in. So the same cab can advertise the latest musical when it's in the theater district, a temp agency when it's in the financial district, and the local watering hole when it's over by the colleges.   

       It seems to me that it shouldn't be that difficult to run the system in reverse, i.e. keep the billboards stationary and move the transmitters around. And if it means that I get a free car, all the better...
III, May 02 2001

       I remember when People played with games as opposed to the other way around. Why not just get an implant in your skull and get it overwith. You'll be crossmarketable no matter what the circumstance.
thumbwax, May 02 2001

       Stop clouding the issue with facts and figures, egnor.   

       If we can't give them away for free, then how about a drastically reduced rate? Tell you what, since you're so fond of crunching those numbers, why don't you sit down and figure out what the absolute cheapest they could get a reasonable ROI on, OK? Let's make these assumptions:   

       Assume we can get, say, 55% target hits every ad. You figure on a busy freeway (not in Hawaii) figure out the amount of cars that 55% target hits represents. Now, what % of the target hits tend to turn into actual revenue? Generously 5% (including impulse non-taarget hits)? OK. Assume a driver won't get overstimulated at 10 billboards per mile. How much revenue does that represent? Assuming every car is one of our CarsZero cars, what is the lowest they could sell them for and still justify their ROI? I think people would still go for it. What do you think?
globaltourniquet, May 02 2001

       To quote PeeWee Herman "Marry it already". If you like this so much - bake it. But don't use egnor as a punching bag AND a source of figures.
thumbwax, May 02 2001

       Oh. You mean... do it myself??? Heavens!
globaltourniquet, May 02 2001

       I make no such assumptions. Just as the existence of NetZero doesn't mean there's no more AOL. Unfortunately.
globaltourniquet, May 03 2001

       http://www.wrapcars.com allegedly pays up to $400 a month for drivers who agree to have their cars wrapped in vinyl advertising. alternatively they will supply the driver with a new car (in that case no monthly payment). The contract is for 2 years or less- I don't know what happens after that, I don't think one can assume they automatically renew the contract.
whlanteigne, Oct 20 2002

       [whlanteigne], please use the link feature, up the page, and on the left.
BinaryCookies, Oct 20 2002


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