The business Jeanne and Brian Evans have been growing in Coventry since 2010 isn’t the one they set out to create.
Jeanne Evans originally thought she’d develop digital signs like those she noticed atop taxicabs in New York City, outfit them with marketer’s messages, set them atop VW Bugs and drive around college campuses.
“I pretty swiftly learned that in order to power something like that you would need to tap into the alternator and the only car that could handle something like that was the Crown Victoria that the police use,” she said. “That capsized that vision of what we wanted to do.”
In that false start, however, the Evanses found the roots of their mobile digital-marketing firm, Promotion With Motion.
The company’s first foray into marketing on wheels came in the form of a pair of high-definition digital displays strapped into the back of a Ford pickup truck and angled so they could be seen by pedestrians and drivers from all angles. An early break came when organizers of the Bristol Fourth of July parade asked the Evanses to drive in the event and display a video image of the new Bristol license plate.
“That kind of launched us,” said Brian Evans.
Business built from there, with the first major contract coming from the organizers of bridal expos, in Massachusetts, who had missed the deadline to buy billboard space and wanted to drive traffic to their two events. From there, Promotion with Motion helped promote the Pawtucket Red Sox and Pawsox-backer Cox Communications.
The firm’s newest vehicle - a box truck outfitted with a three-sided, 1 million LED display capable of full-color, high-definition video and audio displays - was finished earlier this year. Then business took a step toward national exposure when Chicago-based Networked Insights asked the Evanses to conduct a guerrilla-style campaign. Brian Evan positioned the vehicle outside Radio City Music Hall and other Manhattan locations, where advertising executives and business CEOs had gathered to be sold ad time by the major television networks.
“It was fun to be part of that and we learned how to get in, get seen and get out,” he said, adding that the vehicle’s hybrid LED technology enables images and videos to be clearly seen, even in direct sunlight.