Imagine you’re drunk. Toasted. No way you’re driving home. Too far to walk. No cash in your pocket, and the ATM card’s back at home. Then you see it. This little green bug of a vehicle, pulling up to you, and someone says, “Need a lift? We don’t charge.”
“Who are these people and what do they want?” you think. Or did you say that out loud? They proceed to tell you that they’re from Eco Cabs, a company that is providing these emissions free cabs, for free, courtesy the sponsor enveloping their vehicle, 7UP in this case.
On the ride home, you learn that your driver who is pedaling you home is not, in fact, bionic, but has the assistance of an electric motor to make carrying your sack of a body home easier. Wait, did they just call you a sack?
Yes, you’re in Ireland, after all, cheerfully delivered sarcasm is part of the bargain.
EcoCabs is a Dublin based green taxi company who has created a win-win situation for all: A mobile billboard for the vehicle sponsor, on a vehicle that will likely attract much more attention, positive at that, then one of those trucks driving around city streets with billboards in tow. Riders get a safe, free ride home, or if they like, a tour around central Dublin. For everybody, they get reduced emissions in this often congested city, and reduced noise that would otherwise come from a typical taxi cab.
For sponsors, they do more than just coat their vehicle in your branding. For example, Eco Cabs drivers can tell passengers about the product or event that’s related to the sponsor, give coupons and samples to passengers (who doesn’t like to save money and get freebies?) and serve different areas of town in proximity to the sponsor’s business.
New York may have hybrids, but how long will it take something like this to take off in Manhattan? From the sounds of this article it appears Eco Cabs is expanding, both in country and internationally. Time to get on board?
Readers: What other innovative ways have you seen to reduce city congestion and/or market companies uniquely?
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.