Imagine a consumer cut off from external disturbances and sitting tight in a captive environment for hours. Isn't he an advertisers' dream? Now, in comes adLoc, a location-based brand engagement platform, which allows brands to reach an audience travelling in long distance luxury buses by taking control of the TV screens inside the buses.
Speaking about the platform, Abey Zachariah, co-founder, adLoc says, "adLoc is an ecosystem to provide location-based services to bus companies, commuters and brands. The intention is to provide brands with a differentiated ambient touchpoint to reach out to a travelling audience with experiential marketing possibilities and also make bus travel safer and convenient."
According to Zachariah, from a bus company and a commuter standpoint, adLoc enables live bus tracking, safety instructions, location updates, cricket scores via Wi-fi in buses to improve the service standards. From the brand's standpoint, adloc is reaching a captive consumer with a lot of time on his hands and bringing digital elements in outdoor by ensuring transparency and measurability.
adLoc is also enabling this transit media ecosystem using a proprietary cloud-connected embedded hardware, Busybox, which is installed inside buses. Busybox can take control of the TV screens in buses and can also interact with users on their mobile devices, providing brands with a rare opportunity to capture the primary and secondary screens of consumers, that too in a captive environment.
But why only Volvo buses? Explains Mohit Maheshwari, co-founder and head, Corporate Relations, adLoc, "Volvo buses are just the starting point. Our partnerships include 15 bus companies and 12 brands spread across seven states in the south and the west. Brands benefit by getting an opportunity to engage with consumers in the most uncluttered environment there is. Imagine a consumer who is going to be sitting in a bus for 12 hours with very little internet access. You can tell him all the stories you've ever wanted to tell as a brand."
Maheshwari says that since long distance travel is associated with people going home to meet family, for weddings or for festivals. Brands centered on travel would find a contextual fit with adLoc. "As these are the people who transact online, e-commerce and internet players would also find a good connect. Broadly speaking, brands which are looking to reach out to a young, working class, value-for-money aspirational audience should try out adLoc," he adds.
There've been attempts to tap into this opportunity in the past. However, with asset-heavy business models, expensive third-party technology and insufficient value for bus companies, the focus was towards making quick money rather than building value.
adLoc has a 100-bus-strong network covering all major routes in south India and has already worked with start-ups and established brands in sectors such as FMCG, finance, e-commerce and retail, since its launch in October 2013. With a founding team consisting of alumni from Redbus and IIMB, adLoc intends to break the clutter in the crowded media space with this concept.