Ad vans debunk traditional mobile advertising
Reno resident Guy Walsh was struck by the fact that there must be a better form of mobile advertising after seeing a two-sided billboard towed behind a truck on a Las Vegas street. Through research, the 38-year-old Walsh found a company in Nashville, Tenn. that makes specialty vans equipped in the back with three large, scrolling backlit display advertisements.
A month ago he purchased his first van and founded FrontRow Media LLC.
The $92,000 van features two 10-foot by six-foot side advertisements and one six-by-six ad in the back. FrontRow’s first customer was Washoe County Health Care, which placed ads for its child-abuse prevention hotline. Walsh says one truck can cycle through 45 ads, with ads receiving equal time and space.
“They are all fully backlit, so at night the translucent material looks like a high definition television screen,” he says.
Walsh has two drivers combing a route determined by Nevada Department of Transportation and Regional Transportation Committee traffic statistics. Drivers work the road in two shifts six days week from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Their route covers the Spaghetti Bowl in the morning rush hour, traverses South Virginia Street. to the Summit Sierra Mall, returns on a circuitous course and begins again. Drivers blanket major intersections in a cloverleaf pattern of left-hand turns.
Walsh recently hired two salespeople and hopes to further increase his advertising base by making strategic connections with business and with area chambers of commerce. If the idea takes root he plans on purchasing three or four more trucks and entering the Las Vegas and Salt Lake City markets.
He says his biggest challenge is acceptance. “I constantly run up against people who think of an old trailer with two-sided billboards. Ours far exceeds that and are far more eye catching.”
Ad prices vary depending on the length of run time.
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