Car drivers make money with Russian advertising startup
The founders of the Russian startup, StickerRide, believe that a car should at least earn its gasoline, if not make money for the owner. And so the company offers drivers to place advertising stickers on their vehicles for a small fee.
The idea has already proven successful in Russia, and so the company is expanding internationally, recently opening offices in London and Los Angeles. The startup will offer its services in France by the end of August, as well as in six more countries in Europe and Asia by the end of this year. The startup's corporate customers now include major brands such as Gillette, Marvel, and B&N Bank.
On average, a Russian user of this service earns $50-60 each month, and some earn up to $320. It's still not clear how much an American and European will earn; the first car advertising campaign in those countries has yet to be organized.
Money is not the only incentive for motorists, however, and many like the fact that their car attracts attention on the road.
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The StickerRide app is available on iOS and Android platforms in five languages – English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. Users select an advertising campaign to their liking, then come to a place where their car is washed and given a sticker for free.
The app calculates the number of miles, or kilometers, traveled by each participant, and then multiplies it by the rate, which depends on the district, the day of week and time.
StickerRide also organizes competitions and flashmobs. Drivers and pedestrians can participate in quests, and post photos on social networks using the StickerHunt app.
StickerRide's first advertising campaign was dedicated to the Russian release of the blockbuster, "Transformers: Age of Extinction," in 2014. Shortly before the first screening, participants in a flashmob drove cars with stickers in the vicinity of Russia's largest cinema, Oktyabr, and the most active got tickets to the premiere.
In June, the company raised $3 million from the Winter Capital Fund, and officially announced its entry into the U.S. market. While the headquarters is in Los Angeles, there are regional offices in Chicago and New York.
"They made a bold move to enter the U.S. market that already has strong competitors such as Wrapify or Carvertise," said Julien Nicolas, a representative of the Moscow branch of the French startup accelerator, NUMA.
The founders, however, believe StickerRide has a number of advantages over competitors. Carvertise specializes in local clients and small advertising campaigns, while the Russian startup works with global brands. Wrapify uses the same model as StickerRide, but the Russian startup began to operate a year earlier, in 2014.
"We have already demonstrated that you can make big campaigns on our platform," said StikerRide's founder Mikhail Marchenko. "Our largest advertising campaign consisted of 700 cars, while Wrapify had only 50. This is extremely important when working with big brands."
"The tracking option is the killer feature that makes the whole thing work," Nicolas said. The customer receives the exact information where and when an advertising vehicle drove and approximately how many people were able to see the sticker. This helps make an advertising campaign more transparent.
The cost of an advertising campaign using StickerRide is approximately the same as with classical formats – buses, billboards, and bus stops. StickerRide, however, allows advertisers to reach audiences that are, on average, two or three times larger. The service's creators believe they offer not just another outdoor advertising tool, but can turn car owners into brand ambassadors.