Taxi TVs, Now Serving Localized Ads, Are Doing Big Business

hilfigers Taxi TVs, Now Serving Localized Ads, Are Doing Big BusinessThose squawking taxi cab televisions are now delivering location and time-based ads, and everyone’s going gangbusters. From The New York Times:

VeriFone Media Solutions, which handles advertising sales for about 12,000 yellow cabs – nearly the entire fleet – said its revenue was up 60 percent in the past year. In November, the company had 105 active campaigns, compared with 67 a year ago…

Mr. Yassky, the taxi commissioner, said the televisions improved the quality of the taxi experience for passengers.

Ride through the East Village, and you’ll see an ad for the Blue Man Group on Astor Place. Direct the cab in Times Square and you might see ads for New Year’s Eve events.

Cab riders are the ideal advertiser audience: affluent, too lazy to turn off the screen, and captive. No other medium could force New Yorkers to watch that sunny retro-hipster Tommy Hilfiger ad a thousand times with Vampire Weekend’s “Holiday” popping in the background.

The ads are only getting smarter. Taxi ads in the U.K. already have the ability to push an advertiser’s contact information to passengers with Bluetooth-enabled phones. Those seeking a little privacy or quiet can always take a gypsy cab.

ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries