In a TIFF: Visa and Timberland roll big

Both companies are using fully branded EcoCabs to ferry TIFF-goers around the city; Visa is using it as a perk for cardholders, while Timberland promotes its recycling prowess.

If you’ve been at any of the TIFF screenings since the festival started on Thursday, you’ve more than likely seen a fleet of branded EcoCabs lined up like carriages outside the theatre.

The pedal-powered taxis, operated by Go Mobile Media, offer pedestrians complimentary rides around the downtown core in exchange for a brand experience. Visa and Timberland are both ‘sponsors’ of the EcoCab program in Canada, choosing to concentrate their sponsorship into the 10 days of TIFF instead of spread out over a longer-term program, Will Kozma, president, Go Mobile Media, tells MiC.

The Visa-branded cabs are promoting the Infinite card, and the sponsorship offers Infinite cardholders a ‘private concierge service’ of free rides around the city (although MiC spotted some suspiciously young ‘cardholders’ being ferried happily around on Saturday). EcoCabs wait after each day or evening’s premiere screenings to ferry Visa cardholders to their next event.

New to the EcoCab program this year, Visa is using the execution to augment its TIFF sponsorship. Visa’s tagline, ‘go,’ is featured prominently on the EcoCabs, a rather apt slogan for the medium.

Timberland, on the other hand, is using its TIFF EcoCab time to promote the eco-friendliness of its Earthkeepers line of footwear, as well as its involvement in the festival. There’s no prerequisite for getting in the cab in this case, but Timberland is using the execution to promote its Earthkeepers line of shoes, and the fact that the soles of the shoes are made from recycled tires. ‘We’re telling riders, ‘Enjoy the ride, because you’ll be walking on [the tires] next year,” Kozma says.

The sponsored cabs will be on city streets until the end of the festival on Sept. 19.