Illuminated Outdoor is a Chicago digital out-of-home company which operates mobile trucks outfitted with digital signs. The company put a digital sign on a barge and had it operating on the Chicago waterfront during the Americas Cup race last week. Insider talked with Illuminated Mobile’s John Gibbs about the project.
John, how did you enter the outdoor business?
I’ve been in advertising sales business for over 30 years selling print, online, custom publishing and other non traditional consumer and business to business publications as a publishers rep. My introduction to the out-of-home business was while living in San Francisco and selling the SRDS Out-Of-Home Source Book. Selling this gave me the opportunity to see inside the actual sellers of OOH properties and this gave me an extremely unique insight into the wide array of OOH vendors. Then as the Pacific Northwest manager for Continental Airlines inflight, I sold ad page packages and airport dioramas as combination buys. Additionally I sold inflight videos and other inflight entertainment packages. Some of my key accounts were Hewlett Parkard, Microsoft and dating service clients.
How did you get the idea to use your mobile billboard for the Americas Cup?
While I was in production of my first truck I operated in stealth mode because I really had no idea how long it was going to take to build and I didnt want to promise a delivery date and not deliver. So this winter while at the Chicago Boat Show and I saw a huge LED video wall in the America’s Cup booth and it was obvious to me that the America’s Cup had an appreciation for the LED / digital board medium. At the show I dug deeper into who would be in a position to say “yes”. I found the right person of whom we had a mutual executive friend and told them about Illuminated Mobile and after a reference check they reserved the truck for the entire America’s Cup weekend. The program expanded and RedBull was brought into the execution and Illuminated Mobile launched with major brands in an unbelievable platform by placing our digital truck on a barge in Monroe Harbor in front of Buckingham Fountain. Both days we ran a looping advertisng Red Bull video and from 1:30 – 3:00 Pm both days we accepted a live feed and broadcasted the race live. It was a flawless execution and all executives we’re raving on the deliverable!
Where is the board located?
Illuminated Mobile is Chicago based and serves the entire city of Chicago and suburbs. I believe Chicago can support a fleet of 3-5 trucks and we’ll also serve Milwaukee and Indianapolis on an as needed basis. Our first truck launched this past weekend and we already have two trucks in production that will be ready in August and the next in October if not sooner. We’re members of TAB and we offer GPS tracking so we can give our advertisers reports that allow them to measure reach and target markets covered/delivered.
What kind of content is showing on the board.
Illuminated Mobile digital trucks uses are unlimited! We can broadcast literally anything you can see or do on your computer or television. With this unlimited flexibility I still believe our main revenue stream will come from advertising and single sponsorships like what we executed for America’s Cup and RedBull. We reserved the truck yesterday to be used as a backdrop in the filming of a WGN reality TV show pilot. Filming takes place on June 24th.
So we’ll always be good corporate citizens we’ll be following the same city and state rules that apply to other digital billboards in terms of brightness, static vs. animated creative and 8-10 second ad rotations.
What sort of commercials are you running?
I’ve just started selling Illuminated Mobile and so far I have strong interest from three super regional advertisers interested in a multi-month programs. Space is limited to six advertisers running in ten-second increments or one showing per minute per 8-10 hours Monday – Friday of drive time. An ad buy receives all three faces that are 14’ x 8’ and the back is 8’ x 8’. . The math per advertiser is: 60 showings per hour x 8 hrs. = 480 showing x 3 faces = 11,520 daily showings. Until my TAB audit is complete I’m not going to discuss reach only showings.
Weekends are reserved for large sole sponsorships and events.