Backseat Video Ads in Taxis: Good or Bad

How do you feel about backseat video ads in your cab?  Darren Barefoot is not happy about them.  He says he finds the idea “egregious” as an entire concept and also dismisses the technology made by Touch Taxi Media.  But I wanted to get your thoughts on the issue, possibly, because I don’t find them as offensive as he does.

Like Darren, I also came across my first video taxi ad in New York City a few years ago.  While my cab did have the weather and other random stock numbers running across the screen and it was loud, it also gave me recommendations for restaurants and shows to check out, which I found helpful.  The advertisement was actually a show that I was already following online called LXTV, which is a lifestyles program about new and trendy bits in a few major US cities.  So I liked what I was watching.  According to DB, the Vancouver-based screens do not have sound, which they should.  And I agree that the thick-and-cluncky feel of the screens is a turn off.  However, according to Moving Media’s site, (it’s the company that offers the screens in Vancouver), the screens are supposed to offer mobile shopping, which I think is interesting.  Alright. It’s advertising being shoved down our throats and it’s in a cab.  But we live in this world.  Maybe Vancouver is not the right market for the technology, perhaps? Just think.  If you’re in Vegas and can buy last minute tickets to your favourite show–while you’re in the cab on the way there–the concept works.

About Darren’s point of being able to enjoy the cab ride without ads, I agree. We should be able to at least choose a cab with or without the screens.  However, at this point in Vancouver, I’m less worried about having to endure some form of visual advertisement in the back of my cab, and more concerned about persuading a taxi to take me home on a weekend at 2 am.