In times of crisis, the prospect of cutting back on expenses by outsourcing your assets can be appealing to anyone - and it’s well understood that making money with your vehicle nowadays offers a plethora of choices and benefits for all wallets. The proliferation of the gig economy has been following the latest trends; car workers driving for companies like Uber,  Bolt and JustEat have turned millions of passenger cars into commercial vehicles - and potential mobile advertising platforms - growing into a bigger and established reality that includes the special business of car moving billboards - and long being the subject of expensive, aspirational marketing campaigns, the car is becoming a new vehicle for cost-effective advertising.


Although it can’t be really defined as the most appropriate of the solutions - picking up your damsel for a date, while driving around with a glittering advertisement on your windscreen, might sound a bit unorthodox -  promoting another business using your own car allows for a bright, easy payoff. Even if that means giving up the dark blue metallic paint, or the latest aesthetic vehicle fashion, there’s a generous sum of money that follows in exchange for the sacrifice.  As the mobility industry evolves its mechanics through emission-free and newfangled results, companies like Adverttu adapt to progress, by trying to balance conscientiousness and profitability in one sentence. 


“Our goal is to make our roads greener; we are the first 100% Carbon Neutral Transit OOH (Out Of Home) Advertising Provider in the UK. Whilst in a campaign, we offset our driver's routine journeys, including ICE, Hybrid and EV when necessary”, says Katie McIntyre, Commercial Director at Adverttuu, in our email exchange. She continues: “The company encourages EV owners; we run a £100 referral scheme for those who own an electric cab or vehicle. Rather than take up real estate with giant billboards, we give back to our community; Adverttu drivers earn a passive income advertising on their vehicle, making the most out of their everyday driving”.


The company’s motto promises to ‘turn heads into customers’ thanks to its on-vehicle advertising, while helping drivers earn a passive income just by driving around as usual and being matched with the right campaign.  Downloading the app is easy, the registration process is fast: you create your account first by registering your vehicle and number plate, confirming the miles you cover each month and additional information (such as certifying if you are a volunteer for NHS or a delivery driver). As soon as you are in, you get plenty of gigs and different campaigns to look for, giving you the ultimate flexibility that allows you to switch between advertisers at will. Technically, you are granted free will on each campaign: if you don't feel like advertising a specific brand, you can just skip to a new gig. 


“Drivers have the option of who they'd like to advertise for; whether it be for Meatless Farm, Deliveroo or The NHS.” Katie continues. And some of these campaigns aim at making a positive difference. When asked about the Drivers Support Campaign Adverttu run during Covid, Katie explains: “At the height of the pandemic we were compelled to help, we reached out to our 17,000+ driver (now counting 50,000+ drivers on their platform) community in search of those who were NHS volunteers; over 10% responded that they were, and, so our NHS campaign was launched - the results were tremendous!”


But how much exactly is a driver able to make per month and for how much wrapping?


“There are many ways to earn with Adverttu; an EV or Hybrid driver can make up to £200 a month for hosting a brand on their vehicle, whilst driving as usual, with the additional opportunity to participate in PR events; earning up to an extra £400 a month.” Kaie explains. She continues: “Receiving perks and discounts aren't exclusive to being in a campaign, our drivers can enjoy access to Adverttu Driver Rewards such as; discounted parking, car washing, fitness and coffee as well as our referral programme; a total value of £150.”


These perks are in fact not restricted to experienced drivers that have completed a high number of gigs to access on the voucher section of the app - discounts from companies like Kerb, Vitl, Pact Coffee, Aaptiv and more.  There are also available options that allow users to earn (or rather save) in reciprocal ways, for example gaining access to cheap insurance through earning incentives on pay-based, rather than fixed, performance.


A driver doesn’t necessarily need to plaster their entire car with a company’s logo. The coverage levels vary and the final earnings depend on the client and the distance the driver decides to take into account.   “Our drivers are their own agents, they choose the size of wrap they'd like to host on their vehicle, the brand they want to advocate for and when they want to participate” Karie adds. “An Adverttu driver is immediately immersed in the driver community, where we're driving smarter for a greener future.”


The company promises around 12,000 impressions from adverts viewed in only 24 hours. And if it feels like the ordinary pedestrian is already fully invested and an inescapable hostage of billboards populating our roads - and being hit by those adverts might not make some of us the happiest - at least Adverttu tries to compromise on certain hotspots. Focusing the attention on local businesses allows more money to be returned to the local economy, supporting high streets and local employment. The environmental angle is crucial - as advertising might still raise a dispute when related to sustainability causes, depletion of the planet’s finite resources, and generally glamourising ideas through the use of environmentally unconscious choices, Adverttu tries to reverse the stigma through dedicated action.


Specific partnerships with companies like Earthly - a platform connecting businesses to leading nature-based solutions that remove carbon and restore biodiversity - help Adverttu’s clients to benefit from the integrated carbon offsetting solution, reducing and removing greenhouse gases (GHG) to compensate for CO2 emissions produced through campaign delivery.  An example? The company has been using biodegradable car wraps and enables advertisers to select private EV and hybrid vehicles, in addition to last mile delivery e-cargo bikes and electric van fleets. This partnership enables Adverttu to take its sustainability efforts to the next level, assisting advertisers to do the same. 


This doesn’t polish the black mark of advertising away. Unfortunately, we can’t avoid a billboard while we walk in the street, or as we go on with our lives; whether subliminal or not, adverts are designed to eventually catch our attention, through an unstoppable cycle, often feeding citizens through a consumerist cycle of commercials (around 4,000 and 10,000 adverts daily, that are doomed to generate a lower level of personal wellbeing and minor engagement in social behaviours, fuelling brain pollution).


The other side of the story is that The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen by 5.5% in the 12 months to January 2022, representing the highest CPI 12-month inflation rate in the National Statistic series, which began in January 1997 - the highest level in the historical modelled series since March 1992, when it stood at 7.1%. What does this mean exactly? The UK cost of living will be rising for the entire duration of 2022, leaving people short of money.   UK households have been warned to brace for the sharpest annual rise in the cost of living since the early 1980s after a bigger-than-expected jump in the official inflation rate to 7% amid record increases in petrol prices.  And for as much as one might not be instinctively drawn to selling advertising space, it might well be best to think about how to offset some additional costs in the current economic climate. 


The company is expanding and is looking forward to operating in France and Spain, later in 2022, reaching Australia by the end of the year. Katie’s vision for the future is bright:  “In the next three years, we’re looking at fully switching towards an electric fleet of vehicles, continuing our expansion in Europe, and introducing new advertising formats that our advertisers and drivers will love. Our mission remains the same - to make transit out of home advertising as reliable, flexible, and accessible as digital advertising but in a physical form, with a vision to become the biggest sustainable transit out of home media owner that owns no media assets.” 


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Silvia Iacovcich 22/06/22