Taxi Top Ads Changed By WiFi

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Heard of Umbrella Media Outdoor? If you haven’t, don’t be surprised. We hadn’t either. The company seems to have sought no publicity but recently came to light with a campaign for Western Canadian Lottery to be launched beginning 19th Sept 2009 on taxi tops on a fleet of 1,705 cabs in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Grand Prairie, Alberta, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Lotto Max Graphics-2Strange thing is, the taxitop ads are a combination of vinyl backlit prints with cut out digital numbers moulded into the taxi top that are connected to WiFi modems to change the lottery numbers via WiFi.

The digital numbers will be seen and updated every Friday for the new jackpot numbers to show. The lottery campaign, via DDB Canada and M2 Universal, also involves taxi and bumper wraps and interior posters.

Umbrella Media, headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, is certainly an out-of-home media company, with digital components, to date, only a small side of the business, although it offers screens on customized trucks, and, we’re told, is about to make a breakthrough in casino advertising.

“We currently offer our clients five mediums to choose from, which include Taxi, Airline, Golf, Indoor and Truck Media,” says Shane Yawrenko, president. “Each one is catering to a different demographic in an out-of-the-box way.”

Although the company was set up five years ago, “We didn’t want anyone to know what we were doing behind the scenes,” says Yawrenko. “It was important for us to secure contracts with companies across Canada for two reasons: we wanted to make sure we secured the best cab companies, golf courses and airlines first before someone else beat us to it; and because we wanted to release our available media only when were able to provide national campaigns for advertisers.

“In 2005, we quietly allowed taxi advertising in Alberta while we set up the rest of our network. This produced enough funds to keep the company running while we expanded the business across Canada, USA and Mexico. Now we are ready to let the world know that we are here.”

Starting back in 2003 as Canada’s Cab Ads, Umbrella Media secured contracts with taxi companies across Canada and Mexico to offer NewYork-style taxi tops, vehicle wraps, rear window wraps, interior posters and some digital ads. From there, it started its Golf Media, then reached for the skies with Airline Media creating partnerships with such airlines such as WestJet, and Pacific Coastal Airlines. It then went back to the streets, partnering with some of Canada’s best mobile truck advertising companies to offer mobile showrooms, digital and static ads on the back of customized trucks. And then it brought its offering inside by creating a partnership with West Edmonton Mall (the world’s largest indoor shopping and entertainment center) to offer unique ads inside the mall.

With the demands for digital products growing rapidly, we’ll be surprised if this OOH company doesn’t raise the digital portion of its product line, now that it has put up its Umbrella for all to see.

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