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Out of home

Taxi TV platform offers direct link to New York’s affluent consumers

December 30, 2011

DVF on a NY taxi


New York’s yellow taxicabs offer a location-based, video advertising platform with Taxi TV that can put luxury brands in direct contact with the city’s affluent tourists and residents.

While the taxi televisions do have an off option, more often than not riders leave the screen and volume on. Luxury brands such as Calvin Klein and Chanel along with luxury lifestyle publications such as Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar have already used the video platform where a majority of luxury brands are missing out.

“Luxury brands are increasingly running campaigns on Taxi TV as the medium seizes solid opportunities at good value,” said Paul Farkas, Founder/CEO of Social.TV and, New York.

“This mobile TV reaches key tourist and resident demographics while they are captive and on-the-go,” he said. “Viewers that opt to keep it on are more likely to find the content informative and appealing while passing idle time, rather than frustrated by noisy and obtrusive online video advertising.”

Tuning in
The Taxi TV advertising platform offers all the advantages of video advertising combined with location-based services.

Video advertising is often highly engaging and captures the viewer with sight, sound and motion.

Additionally, the taxi’s GPS system can be used to target riders in particular areas and direct them to a nearby store or retail location.

For example, the ad buys can be bought to target people traveling to and from airports or in certain districts such as SoHo or the Upper East Side

The TV is always playing when a rider enters the cab, and approximately 85 percent of travelers leave the screens running throughout their ride, according to an article from The New York Times.

Indeed, luxury brands that use the platform to spread the reach of campaign videos and broadcast television commercials have the opportunity to further engage with two key markets: wealthy New York tourists and affluent residents who frequent cabs over mass transportation.

By engaging with these consumers while they are on-the-go and possibly near retail locations could prompt riders to quickly run in or check the brand’s Web site on their mobile device.

This gives marketers a chance to increase both in-store traffic and mobile sales while increasing brand recall.

With a little more than 13,000 taxis with the TV screens in Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, an ad has the potential to receive up to 200,000 impressions every 24 hours, according to American Broadcast Company's advertising department.

Ad slots can be purchased by the number of days or hours marketers would like to run the ad, or by the number of impressions they receive.

ABC and the National Broadcast Company split the rights to Taxi TV broadcast content and advertising.

Paving the way
Indeed, a few luxury brands and luxury-focused publications have already keyed-in on the advantages of the Taxi TV platform.

For example, lifestyle label Calvin Klein used the medium during the spring to expand the reach of its Calvin Klein Collection video spot starring model Lara Stone.

Additionally, handbag designer Rebecca Minkoff also used the platform to display the brand’s first campaign video this past spring and included a strong Web call-to-action by including the brand’s URL in the bottom frame.

Rebecca Minkoff's Taxi TV video spot

Even luxury mega-brand Chanel is a fan of the Taxi TV platform. It ran a large campaign for its Bleu de Chanel fragrance on the screens over the summer.

Beauty designer Bobbi Brown also used the platform to showcase a special Fashion’s Night Out-based one-minute beauty tutorial that could be done in the back of a taxi.

Publications such as Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country have also taken advantage of the on-the-go video outlet.

The magazines have created news-like "info-tainment" pieces featuring head publishers and editors from the magazine giving style advice and lifestyle tips.

However, there are some tips that luxury marketers should keep in mind before they venture into the new platform.

“Successful Taxi TV ads must be in clear and catchy short-form format to maximize impact,” Mr. Farkas said. “Personality or skit inclusion work well, especially if well-known likeable traits are synched to the pushed content, such as Robert Verdi's Taxi TV shout-outs for Lord & Taylor a couple years ago.

“They can also be incorporated into multichannel campaigns with in-store calls-to-action or deals and contests for transocial following,” he said.

Final Take
Kayla Hutzler, editorial assistant at Luxury Daily, New York