nline-Casinos.com/InfoPowa has previously reported on the promotional campaign for 888.com which saw 375 London taxis decked out with advertisements for the company's website, but the "mobile billboard" idea has been further extended by Taxi Promotions UK, the agency which set the deal up.
In 10 cabs, the marketing pitch goes further, reports the NY Times. Drivers may seek to engage passengers in conversation about poker, and if the customer responds the conversation will embrace 888.com, with those who show particular interest given GPB5 signup coupons.
Taxi Promotions calls the selected cab drivers its ambassador drivers, and plans to expand the ambassador program, creating a unit called Womad Taxis, short for “word of mouth.” The power of word of mouth advertising is well known as the basis for the concept that consumers place more trust in something they hear directly from another person, than something they learn through the media.
PQ Media, a US research firm, estimates that marketers in the United States alone spent us$ 1.35 billion on word-of-mouth marketing last year, up 38 percent from a year earlier. The most recent and fastest growth in word-of-mouth advertising has been on the Internet, where marketers are working with blogs, social networking sites and other forms of communication to try to get ordinary consumers to spread the word about their products and services. Web-based buzz is easier to track than offline word of mouth.
A taxi ride gives marketers something they find increasingly elusive - a captive audience - at a time when consumers are bombarded with commercial messages and when digital technology gives them the power to skip TV ads.
The average London taxi ride lasts 16 minutes, said Asher Moses, managing director of Taxi Promotions. In a normal day, a driver picks up 40 to 60 fares; multiply that by 10 drivers, for the 888 campaign, and the audience that can be reached is sizable.
Taxi Promotions is training more drivers; Moses said he wanted to have as many as 300 involved within a year. Already, 888 has signed up for a bigger campaign, involving 20 drivers, for the introduction of a bingo website next month, he revealed.
Moses said drivers generally had not been given formal training. Sometimes they received free trips to destinations promoted on the exteriors of their cabs - to acquaint them with the hotels, restaurants and beaches at tourist hot spots in Thailand, for instance. “The driver can choose what he wants to point out,” Moses said. “It's not a hard-core sales talk; it's sort of a subliminal talk.”
However, Taxi Promotions is now fine-tuning the program, bringing drivers together with advertisers so they can discuss ways to promote the product, service or destination. And marketing specialists are working with the drivers to explain the best ways to engage different audiences in conversation.
One problem lies in accurately measuring the results of the program, and another in the fact many people would rather spend their cab rides speaking on their cell phones, reading the newspaper or looking out the window in silence.