Content surfing in the back of a taxi

Want to reach people between point A and point B, the ones who may be looking for a reason not to chat with the cabbie? Well, Captive Media Networks is going national with its engaging follow-up to the act of flagging down a taxi.

Captive Media Networks is planning to take its taxi screen advertising platform national in early 2007. The Oakville, Ont.-based division of RT7 has 100 interactive screens running ads and video content on the backsides of passenger seats in Toronto cabs, having launched the platform last February. In January, 50 taxi screens will be installed in Vancouver’s Yellow Cabs. In February, 50 taxi screens will hit cabs in Calgary, another 50 in Edmonton, and 50 more in Ottawa. Captive Media will increase the number of Vancouver taxi screens to 208 before the end of 2007, and the company hopes to bring the Calgary and Edmonton numbers up to 100 each.

Captive Media Networks managing director Shauna Simmonds says the taxi ads currently operating are seen 240,000 times per month, engaging users with interactive menus resembling a webpage. Pre-roll ads are interlaced with tourism info, listings, events, text-based news and content from The Movie Network (interviews and trailers) and The Fight Network. Branded backgrounds and rotating banners are also options to consider. Telus, The Movie Network, Windsor Arms Hotel and Spa, The Fight Network, and CBC have signed up to get ads on the taxi system within the next month. Captive Media has run pro-bono ads on the taxi system for both the Salvation Army and MADD. House of Blues signed on for a concert tickets giveaway using the mobile network as a vehicle for contest promotion this summer.

Captive Media Networks is already national with its retail screens, which target point-of-sale consumers at 43 high-traffic food industry retail centres in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. The number of retail screens will jump to 93 with January’s expansion effort.