Sign of the times: Mobile billboard business takes off in first year
Dyar Jennings, owner of ServiceMaster of the Upstate, says he advertised his cleaning service with some success on television and other mediums, but now he’s found a new vehicle — literally — thanks to mobile billboard advertising.mobile video advertising truck
“If you pull up to a red light, you can’t help but stare at it,” Jennings said.
The trucks have large screens on them and can be seen around Spartanburg. They belong to Premier Digital Displays of Moore and are the latest way to advertise products and services, according to co-owner Todd Whitehead.
“It’s definitely a new concept in this area,” he said.
Whitehead, Marc McNatt and Keith Horton founded the business nearly a year ago. The trio have a combined 60 years of experience in advertising and marketing.
McNatt came up with the idea, and the three men developed a business plan together.
“We wanted to marry technology with roadside billboards,” McNatt said.
The group invested in three trucks and high-resolution LED screens that measure 6-feet-by-12-feet on the sides of each truck and 5½-feet-by-6-feet on the backs. They’re similar to giant TV screens.
“You see the trucks in the big cities like Las Vegas, New York and Northern Virginia,” Whitehead said. “So after leaving the advertising industry, we felt this would be a good idea to stay in that field to help businesses with their advertising.”
Premier Digital Displays has one full-time employee and seven part-timers, including four local firefighters from Spartanburg and Greenville.
“From the beginning, we felt this was an important part to our business — to be able to give back to these guys that made a difference in our community,” Whitehead said.
The company leases a 2,400-square-foot garage at Highway 290 Properties in Moore for the three trucks. A table with four chairs serves as a makeshift office.
Besides the part-timers, the owners take turns driving the trucks each day except Sundays. One truck travels in and around Greenville, another in Spartanburg, and a third one is flexible and can be used wherever an advertiser wants it to go.
There is no specific route the trucks follow. The company says the trucks go wherever the most people are at any given time of the day.
During lunchtime a truck may advertise a menu in a busy part of town, while later in the day it may circulate in areas where large numbers of people get off work to promote a nighttime event, for example.