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Wrapify Turns Cars Into Moving Billboards, Signs Up Petco For A Spin

‘Drive-by-advertising’ could spur on-the-go consumers to visit retail locations. The pet supplies retailer is among the first major chains to share a ride.

Retail chain Petco is working with Wrapify, a startup billed as “Uber for advertisers,” to use consumers’ cars as a traveling display for its out-of-home ads.

By signing up on Wrapify’s website or via its app, users who spend a large part of their day commuting will be able to “wrap” their cars in advertisements for participating companies and generate income for themselves as they drive. Wrapify claims they can get a campaign on the road in multiple areas in just seven days.

Depending on the amount of driving a user does in a given day combined with how much of their car they decide to cover in advertisements (ranging from small ads to a full car body decal), the proportionate amount of income will be made.Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.49.12 PM

Wrapify is currently in effect in San Diego and San Francisco and will launch later this summer in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Atlanta. The startup already has more than 1,500 registered drivers, cars branded with the names of Coldcock Whisky, HomeHero, Captiv8.io and Unreel.io, with more companies, like Petco, already signed on to start having their names all over the highway.

A Traveling Road Show

The Wrapify mobile app will use geo-tagging to track how long and far users have driven. Users simply get in their car, open the app, sign in, and begin their drive. The app automatically calculates their time traveled, distance travelled, and amount of income earned.

The location tracking aspect means Wrapify could possibly also analyze which roads users travelled, paying more for busier roads with more visibility.

Wrapify hopes that this service will provide a “win-win” situation for both users and retailers who wish to have tighter control over their results, and make those results more trackable at the same time. The company claims their campaigns bring back 20 times more impressions per dollar spent than other comparable out-of-home ad campaigns.

“Wrapify’s goal is to change the world of out-of-home advertising for the better, for the consumer,” said James Heller, CEO of Wrapify. “We think Wrapify will help speed marketing’s paradigm shift to the individual, a fair deal where everyday Americans get a piece of the action.”Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.48.30 PM

The car designs are created by an in-house creative director at Wrapify. Drivers will have a limited amount of input into what kind of designs go on their vehicles, but most will be left up to Wrapify’s discretion.

OOH On-The-Go

Heller defined “success” for retailers and marketers that use Wrapify as “increased positive sentiment online and a flood of traffic to their websites all while getting the most granular tracking and feedback available in OOH today,” adding that “we truly believe Wrapify can be leveraged to create the highest impact outdoors with the lowest cost per impression.”

Mobile billboards have proven to be quite noticeable on the road, and significantly more so than stationary billboards. While Wrapify is confident that its Out-of-Home marketing platform will be “genuinely disruptive,” it’s not without its risks. Erratic or dangerous driving in a branded car could create a negative association with that brand, though Wrapify assures that drivers must pass a background check and are thoroughly vetted beforehand.

Also, while the essentially free income is enticing, plastering your entire car with ads might be a bit much for most users. However the program has only been rolled out in a few cities and with relatively few companies and drivers compared to what Wrapify has planned, so the full extent of its successes and possible dangers remains to be seen.

About The Author
Daniel Parisi Daniel Parisi @daniel_parisi_

Daniel Parisi is a New York City-based writer and recent graduate of the University of Maryland. Daniel specializes in coverage of mobile payments, loyalty programs, and the Internet of Things.