Imax rolls fuel-efficient ads

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NEW YORK -- Los Angeles-based Media-n-Motion has come up with a whole new way of breaking through the clutter, especially on gridlocked freeways -- ads placed on fuel tankers.

The company hopes the major movie studios will follow in the footsteps of Imax, which hired Media-n-Motion to advertise Martin Scorsese's Rolling Stones documentary "Shine a Light."

The tankers drive their normal rounds, picking up petroleum at refineries and transporting it to gas stations in the Southern California region, all while advertising movies, other entertainment properties or brands via decals placed on the tanks.

"There is a moratorium on new billboards in Southern California, and here are all these natural billboards sitting in traffic," Media-n-Motion president Joe Klein said. "It's a win-win because the tanker company is getting income for doing nothing but making its trucks available, and the advertiser is getting its ads out there in places where there isn't usually advertising for a fraction of the price of a billboard."

Media-n-Motion also has implemented campaigns for the LA Opera, the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and "South Park" reruns for KCAL-TV Los Angeles. The cost of a campaign is about $10,000 a month, compared with about $45,000 for a billboard.

Greg Foster, chairman and president of Imax, said the tankers seemed like an "organic fit" for "Shine a Light," with "the Rolling Stones, Imax and the sort of power of it all."

"One of the things that we've tried to do is to differentiate our experience from a marketing point of view by breaking away from the clutter," Foster said. "When you see the same things over and over again, your eyes sort of glaze over. It's virtually impossible for your eyes to glaze over when you see a tanker truck 10 feet tall with Mick Jagger on it rolling down the San Diego Freeway."
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