A Different Kind Of “Mobile” Marketing

To battle California’s growing deficit, the state is considering issuing digital license plates that display ads when a vehicle isn’t in motion for more than 4 consecutive seconds.  Though it’s unlikely the concept will ever see reality, it brings new meaning to the term “mobile marketing.” The San Jose Mercury News reports that Democratic State …   Read More

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To battle California’s growing deficit, the state is considering issuing digital license plates that display ads when a vehicle isn’t in motion for more than 4 consecutive seconds.  Though it’s unlikely the concept will ever see reality, it brings new meaning to the term “mobile marketing.”

The San Jose Mercury News reports that Democratic State Senator Curren Price submitted a bill focused on the initiative, and that it was passed with no opposition.  Now the state’s transportation authorities will consult with the Highway Patrol and other groups to decide whether or not to go through with the plan.  Advocates believe the digital license plates could actually cut license plate construction costs and bring money to the state via ad sales.

Though details are still scant as to how it would actually work, the license plate number itself would always remain visible, but ads — and other personalized messages for that matter — would be served and displayed when a vehicle is stationary for a predetermined amount of time.  How the plates will maintain connectivity and how the ads will be sold and served is still being worked out, but it’s a unique plan to combat California’s budget woes.

Something tells me the simple fact that drivers could be distracted by flashy advertisements being displayed all around them while sitting in traffic could lead to to a lot of issues.  Then again, the influx in tickets for careless and imprudent driving for those distracted could equal even more revenue for the state.  Should be interesting to see how this plays out, though I have a feeling it will never make it past the Highway Patrol.

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2 comments

  1. Art S.

    If it's on MY plate then I want some of the revenue, maybe free registration in exchange for ads on MY plate that's on MY car. Otherwise the advertising electronics might just be "accidentally" short circuited.

  2. Brian Prows

    Ha! This idea could only have come from a California state senator. You see, we Californians love to elect legislators who like to spend money but can't balance budgets in good or bad times.

    Besides the distraction factor, I would vote "no" because it would put a lot of prisoners in state prisons out of a job. And the last thing California needs is higher unemployment whether workers are incarcerated or roaming the freeways.

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