AdScoot to brand scooters in rural areas

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In OOH News
Last updated : October 23, 2009
The venture has been started by a young entrepreneur with a view to provide a cost-effective advertising option for SMEs

Last year, afaqs! reported the entry of 'adrickshaw' -- a novel concept in outdoor advertising, where rickshaws were used to carry backlit ad displays. A similar idea has now been executed, where AdScoot, a Mumbai-based OOH venture, will offer advertising space on two-wheeler scooters.

AdScoot has been launched by Mumbai-based youngster, Suyash Trivedi. The venture resulted from the 24-year-old's interactions with entrepreneurs and marketing professionals, and with a view to start something with a small investment. A marketing and finance enthusiast, Trivedi has completed his management studies from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai.

The company will target the small and medium enterprise (SME) segment, which has few advertising options available.

Billed as a cost-effective advertising medium, these scooters will go to any locality, advertise products and even distribute samples, especially in rural areas. The scooters will be fitted with global positioning systems (GPS), enabling marketers to use a Web interface to login and monitor the scooters, live in action.

Suyash Trivedi, founder, AdScoot tells afaqs!, "With AdScoot, we are looking at a medium that is economical, innovative, and traceable. SMEs do not have big marketing budgets and our offering will give them value for money. To begin with, we will mainly target rural markets in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Besides wall paintings, vehicle mounted branding has gained popularity in rural markets and we hope to leverage the potential of the medium. Eventually, we will branch out and look beyond to other OOH formats as well."

Backlit flex displays of 24"x48"x30" will be mounted on the scooters. Depending on the client's requirement, the scooters can be re-modelled for innovations with the help of a bike designing company, creating an on-the-go point of sale. Clad in uniforms carrying the branding of an advertiser, riders will distribute promotional material and interact with prospective buyers as well.

According to Trivedi, FMCG, telecom and pharmaceutical brands will be interested in using the new medium, as these categories are growing in the rural markets.

Morpheus Venture Partners is a consultant for this venture, with a small stake in the company. AdScoot has no official funding; Trivedi has put in his savings to start the company.

AdScoot plans to charge clients on an hourly basis for each scooter hired. A five-day campaign with two scooters, which run for 10 hours a day, will cost approximately Rs 30,000.

afaqs! discussed the potential of the new medium with a few people from the industry.

According to Mangesh Borse, director, Symbiosis Advertising, ad scooters can work only when they are well maintained. "The ad display here is exposed to heat and dust and the challenge to keep it clean is even higher in rural areas. Also, one needs to take care of the detailing that goes in the creative," he says.

Raghu Khanna, chief executive officer, CashUrDrive shares Borse's concern for maintenance. He says, "The medium will work more in favour of local advertisers. I do not see brand-building exercises doing well on ad scooters. Also, the integrity of any campaign running on this media will rest with the rider. So, the media owners need to come up with sound ways of monitoring."

Raj Mohanty, senior business director, Poster Publicity remembers coming across ad scooters at an exhibition in China. He says, "Rural India is growing at great speed and media owners can leverage this well. In terms of display, ad scooters look promising; though there is a need to rework on the pricing of the media. This is because a mobile van is available for Rs 1 lakh for a month and an advertiser will obviously go for a cheaper option."

First Published : October 23, 2009
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