Brand Olympics: what's the value of the taxi ad?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on April 11, 2012

The UK's brands have a sporting chance to maximise exposure this summer, even during the Olympics, according to Andrew Barnett, managing director for UK-based advertising firm Ubiquitous, who here explains the significance of taxi advertising for marketers over the media-hectic summer period.

This summer we will be witness to one of the most exciting events the UK has seen in recent years; in fact, the arrival of the Olympics will mean that for a limited period, all eyes will be on London. The brands that have invested in premium and exclusive sponsorship packages, and therefore have access to the games venues, will also share some of the spotlight. The increased footfall around the capital will see local businesses and global brands vying for a share of voice by an audience enthused by everything Olympic related. However, unless you are an official Olympic sponsor or partner, gaining significant brand cut-through at this time may prove difficult, if not costly.

But not all branding opportunities over this period are lost in the crowd, particularly if marketers are creative with their message and go back to proven, traditional formats - such as Outdoor, and move away from trying to muscle in on the Olympic areas. Specifically, placing your brand message on a black taxi, one of the UK's most recognisable icons, provides a unique way to deliver and circulate your message right across around the capital, from the Olympic venue perimeters to the airports (and everywhere in between) - what better way to cut through the Olympic crowds?

Whether you're a sponsor or not, taxi advertising presents the perfect opportunity to heighten brand visibility throughout the summer, a time when we're expecting prolonged influx of people to the capital, whether it's for the Jubilee or the Olympics. Taxis will play an instrumental role in transporting large volumes of spectators to the Olympic venues, as well as helping to get London business people from A to B, at a time when the Tube (London's underground metro railway) will be very busy.

Branded taxis, in particular, are able to instantly deliver outstanding urban coverage, acting as a superb city-wide brand reminder to other placement-based promotions that consumers may have already seen in retail or transport locations.

Marketers can also choose to sync outdoor and online promotions, enabled by innovations and technologies, such as QR codes and Blippar that can be delivered in-taxi, maximising the opportunity to engage with passengers on a one-on-one basis. With the average cab journey time estimated to be about 17 minutes, this high dwell time should not be under-estimated.

The UK's iconic black taxi offers a significant way for advertisers to be at the heart of the summer celebrations and taxi advertising is therefore likely to hold even greater significance in the run-up to the games, providing a creative and eye-catching platform for brands to engage both local and international consumers during the entire summer.

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